National Youth Jazz Orchestra

July 14, 2022
8:00 pm

Basie & Beyond

The NYJO 18-piece ensemble performs classic works led by their Artistic Director, Mark Armstrong.

Since roaring from the American imagination over a hundred years ago, jazz has been thrilling audiences across the world. William James Basie is an icon. His impact on the jazz canon cannot be overstated. He formed the Count Basie Orchestra in 1935 and led the ensemble for over 50 years. As jazz transitioned from the dance floor to the concert platform, Basie kept the spirit of swing alive, transforming the music for the atomic era, but keeping true to the soul of its roots.

This programme explores the impact on popular music made by Basie and the twentieth-century Black American artists that followed: Frank Foster, Dizzy Gillespie, Tadd Dameron, Oliver Nelson, Quincy Jones, Thad Jones. To their lives and struggle we owe an unpayable debt.

‘I have been in love with swing since playing Splanky for the first time as a teenage trumpet player. As I have explored this music I have drawn constant inspiration from the combination of a great groove and the variety of colours that skilled writers create, from raw excitement to subtle, expressive textures. To work out how to take the music forward we need to celebrate its past, acknowledging that although we may not have had the experiences and background of the musicians who created it, we can learn something of this through their music and demonstrate its importance and vitality to a modern audience. This is especially true when it’s performed by musicians of the same kind of age as the members of these bands were back in the day. I hope you enjoy listening to this music as much as the band enjoy playing it!’ – Mark Armstrong

Event details

Event date:
July 14, 2022

Event time:
8:00 pm

Buxton International Festival

3 The Square, SK17 6AZ Buxton

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Quote 1 (Jazzwise)

"NYJO has never been conformist, never hewing to one particular line, never known for fawning replications and very deliberately these days a vehicle for new possibilities."

Jazzwise Magazine

Quote 2 (Lucy-Anne)

“Since joining NYJO, I’m so much more confident as a performer. Especially in terms of being able to entertain and keep the crowd engaged with you. It’s really nice to be able to feel that difference.” 

Lucy-Anne, NYJO Singer

Quote 3 (Academy)

"I’ve felt very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing musicians, and I think that the environment at NYJO – which has fostered creativity and improvisation – has allowed my confidence and musical ideas to grow."

Briony, NYJO Student

Quote 4 (Emma)

"The JX programme has been hugely helpful to me so far, consistently pushing me to explore new areas of composition, playing and collaborating with others, in many different formats."

Emma Rawicz, NYJO Musician

Quote 5 (Sam)

"Giving them space to create whatever they wanted, without setting parameters of idiom or style helped them to conceptualise how they could bring these new concepts into their work without scaring them off, or mystifying the process."

Sam Eastmond, NYJO Educator (Animate project)

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