NYJO has just completed its Three Nations Under One Groove UK Tour with the fantastic German and Dutch national youth jazz orchestras, BuJazzO and NJJO. The opening night was held at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall, next came Kings Place in London, and the closing performance was part of the 2017 Gateshead International Jazz Festival.
The Three Nations tour had a number of inspirational education and outreach projects associated with the performances, including workshops with local schools in Nottingham and Gateshead.
The night before the first performance in Nottingham, a small group of NYJO and BuJazzO musicians were invited to perform at a special event at the German Ambassador’s residence in London, made possible by Deutsche Bank who sponsored the project.
After busy days packed with rehearsals, workshops and performances, the musicians still had time to relax… by doing more jazz! Several evenings were accompanied by late night jams, providing a great opportunity for the bands to socialize.
The spirit of collaboration between the bands was noted by audiences and reviewers alike. London Jazz News had this to say about NYJO’s performance at Kings Place:
“As the evening at Kings Place progressed, the permutations of the musicians from the three bands became more effortless and seamless. As NYJO Artistic Director Mark Armstrong described the vibe of this week-long collaboration at the beginning of the concert: when a group like this, with young people from several countries meets, ‘We find we all share the same language and culture of music.’ “
Special mention was made by Jazz Plus for the combined band’s performance of Johnny Richard’s ‘Cuban Fire!’ suite, under BuJazzO music director Jiggs Whigham.
“Jiggs Whigham MD’d the second half – and this was a real delight and treat. Johnny Richards’ ‘Cuban Fire!’ suite performed in indulgent symphonic form. The applause deservedly went at the end to the rhythm section, who had an absolute roasting.”
We are glad to say that there are plans to continue this project further and to collaborate with BuJazzO and NJJO in the future.
NYJO is grateful to Deutsche Bank and the David Laing Foundation for their generous support in making the Three Nations Under One Groove project possible.
Photos c. Martin Hines and Kat Pfeiffer photography