Chairman’s Circle members donate £5,000 or more to NYJO annually, for a minimum of three years, and in addition to Gift Aid their donations are matched pound for pound by Arts Council England’s Catalyst Evolve scheme; meaning a gift of £5,000 becomes worth £11,250 to NYJO. Higher-rate taxpayers can also claim tax relief on their donations to the scheme.

The Chairman’s Circle is therefore a major contributor to NYJO’s work in nurturing the next generation of UK jazz musicians, and it allows NYJO to plan ahead with confidence and develop its work to have even more impact across the country – especially through its award-winning learning and participation programme, which focuses on areas of low cultural engagement and poor arts provision. Tim Smart became the first member of the Chairman’s Circle in 2016



Chairman’s Circle


Nigel Tully MBE is the Executive Chairman of NYJO. His band ‘The Dark Blues’, which he started while studying Physics at Oxford, has performed over 5,000 gigs nationally and internationally. He had a long business career with IBM and is a PastMaster of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and Chair of its Jazz Committee. Nigel became Executive Chair of NYJO in 2009 and led its subsequent transformation with Vice-Chair Jack Fallow, having been a Trustee since 2000. Nigel was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year 2018 Honours List, for services to music.





Chairman’s Circle

Tim Smart has been working in the public sector since 2008, after 30 years with Shell and BT, and is committed to helping inner city youth overcome disadvantage. He said: “I am delighted to become a patron of NYJO. I am most impressed by the opportunities that NYJO creates for young people to fulfil their potential.”



Chairman’s Circle


John East joined the Chairman’s Circle in December 2016. He spent his entire career in the City, initially as a stockbroker, but for many years as a corporate financier and has founded two Stock Exchange firms.

His second company, John East & Partners, was acquired in 2007 and became part of international financial giant Sanlam.  He is a  director of and shareholder in a number of private companies, a partner in the 606 jazz club and leads, as an amateur playing  the Hammond Organ and singing, a seven piece professional jazz band, The John East Project.

He said: “I am delighted to have joined Tim as a patron of NYJO.  It is a wonderful training ground for talented young musicians.”




Chairman’s Circle Justin and Victoria Ash

Justin and Victoria joined the Chairman’s Circle in 2017 in support of NYJO’s commitment to broadening the reach of jazz to young people.  They say, “We are very impressed by the work that NYJO is doing to provide exciting musical opportunities to young people across the UK”.  They both love jazz, but are definitely enthusiastic amateurs!

Justin is a portfolio advisor in the private equity sector, having previously been CEO of Oasis Healthcare prior to its sale to BUPA.  He is also currently Chair of GK Strategy, and has a professional background that spans Bain & Co, Yum Brands, and Lloyds Pharmacy.

Victoria runs her own marketing consultancy, RCR Partnership, providing strategic advice and implementation support to entrepreneurial businesses.  Prior to setting up RCR she trained as a business coach, and worked in PR and communications in the UK and France.



Chairman’s Circle

Mark Allen

Mark Allen is a journalist and editor by background, who now owns the Mark Allen Group, a media and exhibitions company which publishes more than 70 magazines and organises 200 exhibitions and events a year. His music portfolio comprises Jazzwise, Gramophone and Songlines, to which he has recently added brands which he has acquired from Rhinegold. These brands include: Opera Now, Classical Music, International Piano,  Choir & Organ, Music Teacher and Teaching Drama.

Mark says that he plays the saxophone (badly!) and is a passionate jazz fan. For many years he organised an annual jazz festival in Wiltshire, where he also has a house.






If you would like to discuss becoming a member of the Chairman’s Circle, please contact the NYJO office: or 020 7494 1733.