Some fresh and exciting news! At a ceremony last night at the House of Commons, NYJO was announced as winner of the Jazz Education Award at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2015. Hosted by broadcaster Moira Stuart, the awards are organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) and are Britain’s premier awards in jazz. The award goes to an educator or project for raising the standard of jazz education in the UK. NYJO London Music Director Phil Meadows’ group Engines Orchestra also won Jazz Ensemble of the Year.
NYJO Music & Artistic Director Mark Armstrong commented:
“NYJO has always been at the leading-edge of jazz education and was founded at a time before there were any conservatoire jazz courses available. In our 50th anniversary year it’s great to be given this Jazz Education award. It is also further evidence of how powerful an educational tool jazz can be to engage with children and young people and open their ears and eyes to the possibility of a future with this music.”
Nigel Tully, Executive Chair of NYJO said:
“This is wonderful news for NYJO and recognition of the huge development in our education work over the last two years. This month alone NYJO will give inspirational performances from the main band, deliver jazz workshops for 350 school children through our partnerships with Music Hubs and schools, host an all-comers jazz jam for young musicians as well as deliver weekly workshops from the four ensembles of the NYJO Academy. It’s a tribute not only to Mark Armstrong but also to our MD team of Paul Eshelby, Gemma Buckenham, Phil Meadows, Jess Radcliffe, new arrival Sebastiaan de Krom, and education associate Pete Letanka. ”
Awards host Moira Stuart, NYJO Music & Artistic Director Mark Armstrong and APPJAG member Norman Baker MP during the presentation of the award. Photo credit Hayley Madden
Sponsored by music licensing company PPL, the All Parliamentary Jazz Awards feature nine award categories and reflect the ever-increasing scope of talent from within the UK’s jazz scene from Jazz Newcomer of the Year to Jazz Album of the Year. Following a public vote via the Jazz Services website, the shortlist was then voted upon by the Selection Panel who represent a broad cross-section of backgrounds united in their love and knowledge of jazz. The winners were chosen by judging members of APPJAG in Parliament at the ceremony. APPJAG currently has over 100 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords across all political parties. Their aim is to encourage wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz, to increase Parliamentarians’ understanding of the jazz industry and issues surrounding it, to promote jazz as a musical form and to raise its profile inside and outside Parliament.
We’re very excited to win this prestigious award and for our exciting plans to engage with children throughout the country as well as to nurture the most talented of the next generation of jazz musicians.