The NYJO Academy offers weekly London-based access to jazz ensembles for young musicians of varying levels and abilities. Ensembles rehearse every Saturday at our base at Woolwich Works.

5 bands rehearse each week, providing ensembles to cater for a range of levels.  If you’re interested in joining the Academy, please contact to find out more, and arrange to come for a Taster Day.  Below is brief details about each of the bands, to give you an idea of what you can get involved in:

The NYJO Academy Big Band

10am – 1pm

MD: Sebastiaan de Krom

This band focuses on projects looking at the repertoire/styles of key big band figures; Ellington, Basie, Maria Schneider, Stan Tracey etc etc.  Experience in large jazz ensemble performance is expected, with music reading, improvisational abilities and overall jazz style developing well.  Entry is mainly by a yearly try-out process in September. Guideline:  Approximate age range 16-19

The NYJO Academy Vocal Group

10am – 1pm

MD: Helena DeBono

Singers work with the MD on everything from microphone technique to repertoire and reading and jazz interpretation.  Each week members of the vocal class will have opportunity to sing with the NYJO Academy Big Band, as well as working on a jazz vocal ensemble. Guideline:  Some live singing experience desirable.  Approximate age range 14 – 21

NYJO London Intermediate

MD: Jas Kayser

12:15  – 1:45pm OR 2 – 3:30pm 

This ensemble is for those with some proficiency on their instrument to come and learn, hone and develop their aural and improvisational skills. We focus on developing our ear through interval recognition and work on connecting it to our instrument. We also look at how to build solos and develop ways to work effectively as a band through interaction and listening. All repertoire is learnt by ear and we cover basic jazz theory so it’s not essential to have previous experience improvising and reading music is not a skill required (although useful)!

NYJO London Advanced

MD: Winston Clifford

1:30 – 3:30pm

This ensemble is aimed at those with previous experience in improvisation and a high level of proficiency on their instrument. We look at chord/interval recognition, transcription, jazz language and advanced jazz harmonic content. We also continue to develop aural connections, methodology on building solos/working as a band and learn more complex repertoire by ear.