Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders

Part of NYJO’s mission is the future of jazz and its up and coming musicians working in the music industry. Alongside the performance skills gained within the Orchestra or smaller ensembles, this also includes their facilitation skills,  needed to work in music-education, which most musicians with a portfolio career will need to do. NYJO has developed several schemes aimed at training emerging jazz educators with hands-on experience and bespoke CPD from a team of top music educators, ensuring that young musicians can develop the skills to match their enthusiasms for spreading the jazz message.


NYJO Mentors Scheme

Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders


The Mentors scheme is an annual programme, aimed at gaining real experience from observing and being guided by experienced music leaders in a supportive and safe environment. Fantastically creative jazz musicians who are looking to develop their skills as music workshop leaders work with our Music Directors in our London Academy over a 6 month period to equip themselves with the skills necessary to become a 21st century jazz musician. They also benefit from training days aimed at exposing them to a wide variety of educational settings guided by top specialists, such as Pete Letanka and Paul Griffiths. The mentors are paid a bursary which allows them to prioritise their personal development. 11 mentors have benefited to date and some, such as bassist Arthur O’ Hara, have gone on to be offered regular work with NYJO and our education partners.

“Despite it being fairly daunting at first, being able to lead the warm up and then rehearse the entire band for a tune (or two) has been very rewarding”Vittorio Mura, NYJO Mentor

“Watching and working with Phil [NYJO London MD] was both enjoyable and extremely instructive. I got a huge amount out of the Academy Big Band term as well, in terms of confidence and in terms of learning about specific ways to rehearse and conduct a large group. “Dave Jago, NYJO Mentor

The NYJO Mentors Scheme has closed for 2019. Applications for the 2020 cohort of NYJO Mentors will open in late 2019. For more information, please contact the Learning and Participation team.


NYJO Ambassadors

Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders


The NYJO Ambassadors are emerging creative jazz musicians who are part of the NYJO Family. This cohort of young musicians all have one thing in common – fantastic musical ability and nearly all are students or recent graduates of jazz performance degrees, making them old enough to be excellent but young enough to be outstanding peer role models to future jazz musicians. The Ambassadors tour the UK, working closely with Mark Armstrong, the artistic director of NYJO and our team of Associate Educators to deliver workshops and CPD to our partner schools and MEHs.  The Ambassadors also benefit from the hands on CPD sessions to further their careers as jazz educators as well as working with our Associate Educators, benefiting from different leadership styles. During their time with NYJO, the ambassadors will take on more leadership roles.

NYJO Jazz Messengers

Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders


The NYJO Jazz Messengers is an intentionally-diverse sextet that performs interactive schools concerts for key stage 2 and 3 students – at just the age these young people are encouraged to take up an instrument. The Messengers team have benefited from the hands on experience of leading school concerts as well as workshops with different age groups and abilities, feeding their professional development as industry professionals, meeting NYJO’s high quality expectations that are nationally recognised in the industry. Now in its 3rd year, the Jazz Messengers have given over 50 concerts to nearly 10,000 children. Learn more about the scheme here


If you would like to know more about any of our schemes, please get in touch with Claire,  L&P Manager

Photos by Daniel Devlin, Nicole Vardon and Ardingly College