NYJO Presents… will showcase up and coming talent from the UK jazz scene. This is a grassroots, bottom-up platform for plural creative voices at the start of their careers to express themselves live from the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.
Roella Oloro (11.4.21)
Roella Oloro is a British composer and multi-instrumentalist of Nigerian and Jamaican descent. Her early musical home was in the Pentecostal Church playing piano in regional gospel choirs where she learnt to play piano by ear alongside her classical training in clarinet, alto saxophone and bass guitar.
Inspired by jazz in her early teens after hearing the virtuosic brilliance of Oscar Peterson, she first moved to London in 2017 to study at Trinity Laban and quickly got involved with London’s vibrant scene, performing with bands like the Tomorrow’s Warriors Female Frontline, as well as regularly attending jams at Ronnie Scott’s, The Haggerston, Troy Bar and Steamdown among others.
After spending summer 2018 at Berklee College of Music under the mentorship of renowned drummer Terri Lyne-Carrington, she was offered a full scholarship to study there. After a rigorous fundraising campaign that saw communities come together to help her raise £23,000 in 4 months, Roella was able to take up her place at Berklee and has been studying there since September 2019.
Roella Oloro will be joined by a quartet of incredibly talented musicians to explore repertoire composed of Roella’s original material as well as music from jazz legends such as Mulgrew Miller, Roy Hargrove and Esperanza Spalding.
Karen Shiraishi (18.04.21)
Karen Shiraishi is a British-born Japanese pianist and composer based in London. She was classically trained on piano from a young age and fell in love with the sound of jazz upon hearing the Oscar Peterson trio at age 14.
Karen spent much of her teenage years at World Heart Beat Music Academy and the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy, where she was mentored by some of the UK’s leading jazz educators, Julian Joseph OBE, Trevor Watkis, Byron Wallen and Toni Kofi.
In 2017, Karen was offered a scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music . In 2019, she performed at Bern Jazz Festival as part of Terri Lyne Carrington’s Jazz and Gender Justice Institute; at DC Jazz Festival and Dizzy’s Jazz Club NY as part of Ralph Peterson’s GenNext Big Band; at the Novosibirsk Jazz Festival in Russia; as well as leading many of her own concerts over the years.
A gifted composer with a recognisable sound who draws from a wide variety of influences including Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, and Wayne Shorter among others. Karen’s performance will feature music by some of her favourite composers, as well as her original compositions which are brought to life by her brilliant band.
Asha Parkinson is a London-based composer and saxophonist whose work regularly crosses the boundaries between traditions. She was three times semi-finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician competition, has been shortlisted in the 2016 BBC Inspire Composers Competition, and was one of 20 young people internationally to win Diana Legacy Award for her humanitarian initiative Voices Beyond Divisions.
Asha runs the Kalpadruma collective exploring connections between Contemporary Classical, Jazz and various world music forms. In its third year, the group has played at a number of high-profile venues including the London Jazz Festival, the Jazz Sevens Leeds series and the Union Chapel. Asha was one of four composers to receive a Breakthrough Commission from Jazz South for a composition bringing together Kalpadruma and members of the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians. Her debut album ‘Onwards’ is scheduled for release in Autumn 2021.
Asha’s set will be a mixture of Kalpadruma’s original material focusing on adapted versions of pieces from their “Encounters” suite: an evocative musical world where jazz, Arabic Maqam, and contemporary classical meet with the powerful poetry of Maram al-Masri.
The set will also include quintet versions set to appear of their upcoming album ‘Onwards’. As was traditional at their monthly residency at the Ritzy Picturehouse in Brixton, the band will also mix in a range of other influences, such as Paco de Lucia and Turkish bağlama music.
To register your interest for each of these shows, head over to our Facebook Events page now! Each of the streams will be available live from there and on Ronnie Scott’s YouTube page from 8pm on the dates listed.