Nikki Yeoh & the National Youth Jazz Orchestra


Her seminal multimedia work reimagined for expanded forces.

Nikki Yeoh’s seminal multimedia work, Speechmik X-Ploration, promotes a message of global justice and equality. Originally commissioned by BBC Radio 3 & Bath Festival in 1997 it is needed now, perhaps, more than ever. In this new commission for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Yeoh reorchestrates the work for expanded forces.

Inspired by the music of Hermeto Pascoal and his experiments with speech, Yeoh uses an original poem as the central motif. Through the piece Yeoh’s poem is repeated 6 times, in 6 languages. The cadence, melodies and rhythms of each telling determine a compositional architecture through which large ensemble improvisation is woven.

Completing the journey is a brand-new companion piece, Nucleus, which is dedicated to trumpet player & educator, Ian Carr, who was a major influence in Yeoh’s musical upbringing, as well as a major force in progressive UK jazz fronting the jazz-rock band of the same name.

The expanded line-up for this performance, including strings and woodwind, shows Yeoh and NYJO re-examining the textural and stylistic boundaries of large ensemble jazz in contemporary UK society.



I am delighted to be commissioned by NYJO to compose a new work, Nucleus, which is dedicated to the Trumpeter, Composer, Writer and Educator Ian Carr (21 April 1933- 25 February 2009) with whom I studied. Writing for such a powerful ensemble as The National Youth Jazz Orchestra is a phenomenal experience, and a rare opportunity for me to do what I love. This piece is also dedicated to all of the Jazz Educators far and wide who give up their weekends to the service of selfless dedication to the next generation of young musicians.

Nikki Yeoh


Contact details

Please get in touch with us at [email protected]


About NYJO

NYJO exists to empower young jazz musicians and inspire audiences across the UK, through engaging participation projects and impactful live performances. Founded in 1965, NYJO has grown from a single jazz orchestra to a multifaceted organisation that is committed to supporting and developing musicians of all styles and standards. Whether you want to become the next emerging artist or simply play for fun – they’re here for it.

Throughout all its activities, NYJO are actively seeking to create a dialogue; between the established and the experimental; the past and the present; with captivating experiences that bring people together.