Last week our musicians took part in a collaborative European concert tour with the German youth jazz orchestra BuJazzO, and the Dutch youth jazz orchestra NJJO. It is not often you get to hear the epic sounds of three young professional jazz bands featuring 77 talented young musicians in one room, but this tour offered the opportunity to do just that not once, but four times with gigs in Heek, Cologne, Rotterdam and Amsterdam over the course of the week.
In the days leading up to the performances, musicians from all three bands rehearsed together, jammed together in small groups, and even staged a Three Nations football match in between all the jazz (we have it on good authority from our band members that it did in fact “come home” for the UK on this occasion).
We caught up with some of our band members as they stepped off the tour bus, to hear what they thought of the whole experience:
“It has been an incredible week! For me the highlight was definitely the jam after the first concert on Thursday. I actually feel like it changed me as a musician forever. There was just so much listening going on and when I soloed I felt like it wasn’t just me (which happens when there isn’t much interaction), but as if the whole rhythm section was listening, responding, supporting and exchanging ideas. It was an incredible moment, that I won’t ever forget. I think it was the openness and sharing of each musician and the atmosphere in the room that made it so special. I feel like I even struggle to put it into words.” – Maria Rehakova, NYJO Musician
“Playing with big bands of such great musicians pretty much non stop for a whole week can only be a good thing for anyone’s playing! Aside from that I visited some amazing places, made lots of new friends and some hilarious memories with old ones too.” – Adam Chinery, NYJO Musician
No matter what Brexit has in store for us next March, we are excited and proud to be welcoming our international friends back to the UK for the return leg of this Three Nations Under One Groove project, to make more great music with us in April 2019! Watch this space for performance announcements coming soon…