The evening performance is almost sold out for the fourth time. However there is still a marvellous opportunity to watch the open rehearsal of the fabulous National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) at the Kenton Theatre, this Friday 8 November at 3.30pm. Tickets for the rehearsal are just £4.
The theme for this year’s show is Jazz Goes To The Movies. This 21-piece orchestra with vocalist will be playing special arrangements of Academy Award winning songs and other famous themes from the great movies, and there will undoubtedly be some moving and nostalgic moments. The conventional line-up includes in addition the flute and French horn which combine to bring the special sound and musicianship for which NYJO is renowned.
The orchestra provides a glittering showcase for the country’s finest young jazz musicians coming from an organisation conceived in 1965 by Bill Ashton OBE who is the Life President. Young musicians from 12-24 are eligible and over the years it has produced most of Britain’s leading jazz musicians including Courtney Pine, Mark Nightingale, Gerard Presencer, Guy Barker and Pete Long, to name but a few.
NYJO relies heavily on sponsorship. Alongside Arts Council England, BP and Jazz Services, it has recently secured major support with a grant from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, an organisation which aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK. This is achieved by funding the charitable work of organisations with the ability to make positive change. The grant will help NYJO to continue to support the next generation of UK jazz musicians and to extend its national reach and impact.
It follows an extraordinarily successful 12 months for NYJO which included performances at the BBC Proms, the London Jazz Festival and Ronnie Scott’s, the release of a critically-acclaimed new album –The Change – and appearances on national TV and Radio.
In addition to performances all over Britain and producing over 40 albums, over the years the orchestra has visited many European countries as well as touring the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
How do musicians learn and develop through the organisation? In a recent re-structuring, The NYJO Academy has been formed, providing graded workshops and rehearsal opportunities guided and monitored by teaching musicians working as Music Directors.
Mark Armstrong, a former NYJO alumnus, will be conducting the concert. He was appointed NYJO’s Music and Artistic Director last year. An Oxford University graduate, he trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and is Jazz Professor at the Royal College of Music. He is a prolific composer and arranger and a former winner of the BBC Competition arranging prize. As a trumpet player he plays regularly with Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra and in small groups here and further afield.
For tickets go to www.kentontheatre.co.uk or call (01491) 575698.