In Memory of Jon Hiseman

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In Memory of Jon HisemanIt is with great fondness that we remember the life of Jon Hiseman, drummer and leader of the jazz rock band Colosseum and dear friend of NYJO, who sadly passed away early last Tuesday morning, 12 June 2018. Throughout NYJO’s 53 year history, Jon has always been around to offer advice and support to NYJO’s young musicians, staff, directors, board members, and beyond. Our deepest sympathies are with his family at this difficult time.

Jon was not only extremely generous to NYJO philanthropically – he and his wife Barbara Thompson MBE have been Chair Sponsors of the NYJO Baritone Sax and Tenor Sax 2 chairs for many years – he was equally generous with the time he spent helping and advising NYJO from day one. Jon sat on the board of NYJO for a number of years, secured a sponsorship in-kind for NYJO from Apex Drums, and loaned NYJO the use of his recording studio at Temple Music to mix and even record some NYJO albums. He was a trusted friend of both founder and Life President of NYJO Bill Ashton OBE, as well as NYJO’s current Executive Chair Nigel Tully MBE.

His advice, input and generosity over the years has helped shape NYJO into the successful organisation we are today; for that, we cannot thank him enough.

Nigel Tully recounts:

“I’ve lost count of the number of times I called Jon to discuss some NYJO problem with him, usually because of some mistake I had made & couldn’t see how to remedy. He was invariably positive, creative & encouraging, telling me that my error was unimportant, could easily be retrieved, and that sunny uplands were in immediate prospect. I always put the phone down feeling better after talking to him – the perfect adviser !”

We are so grateful to Jon for the time, money and, most importantly, the belief he put into NYJO from the very beginning, and continued to put in over the last 50 years. Jon was a talented jazz drummer, a devoted philanthropist and a loyal friend of NYJO. He will be deeply missed.


Jon’s family have generously suggested that donations can be made in memory of Jon Hiseman to the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, which he supported enthusiastically over many years. If you would like to donate, please click here.


Photo credit: Wolfgang Gonaus

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