NYJO in East Kent: Widening Access

April 14, 2023

NYJO Learning is delighted to be working with DEAL Music & Arts to provide new opportunities for young musicians in Kent to learn more about jazz performance. Workshops are held during school holidays and focus on developing key skills in improvisation, harmony, and group composition.

Workshops are led by NYJO Educator Joe Browne, supported by NYJO Emerging Professional musicians. Joe is a musician, composer and workshop leader based in London and studied jazz saxophone at Birmingham Conservatoire.

I have personally benefited from working with such a fantastic team from NYJO and Deal Music and Arts alike, as well as from the relationship that has developed between me and the ensemble. I feel that it is very much a two-way relationship, and although I am there to educate the young people, many of the decisions are made through group conversation, while others are entirely student-led.

Joe Browne, NYJO Educator


Sessions are designed to be relaxed, respectful & inclusive. Both young musicians who are confident music readers, and those who do not read music, are welcomed into the sessions and encouraged to develop their skills and experiment with different ways of making music. We hope that this partnership with DEAL Music & Arts will continue to provide opportunities for young people across the area to come together to make new friends and access dynamic local music-making opportunities.

The age group of 12 to 25 offers particular challenges in the South East as many people simply cannot afford to fund London trips and learning experiences. NYJO offers a national perspective at a local level and also introduces many young people to high quality playing they would not otherwise experience. Our projects are aimed at offering a progression route for young people so they can start simply and build on every experience to find routes into full time music or simply music for pleasure.

Peter Cook, Education Director, Deal Music & Arts


If you work for a Hub or Music Service and are interesting in getting involved with our Widening Access programme, please get in touch today!

Lucy-Anne (EP quote)

“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 Emerging Professional (Vocals)

Georgia (EP quote)

“It’s hard to just learn this music in the practice room but being immersed in the music at NYJO is a great environment to really push my playing. ” 

Georgia Ayew, NYJO Emerging Professional (Drums)

Sam Eastmond (MD quote)

"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

Jazzwise quote

"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

Lydia (EP quote)

"The past year has been an absolutely incredible experience, pushing me way out of my comfort zone into playing with some of the greatest young jazz players of my generation and getting to call them my colleagues and friends has been beyond inspiring, and also an obscene amount of fun!"

Lydia Cochrane, NYJO Emerging Professional (Saxophone)

Anna (Learning national quote)

"[The NYJO residential in Cumbria] helped me to make friends with other young musicians. I enjoy playing a lot more and I’m quite proud of what I’ve accomplished. I feel more confident now. I have learnt different ways of coming up with solid melodies and also a little bit on harmonies. I think it’s been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had."

Anna, NYJO Learning Widening Access participant

Briony (Learning U18s quote)

"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 Under 18s

Oscar (Learning U18s quote)

"I think I’ve progressed a lot in my piano-playing. NYJO has helped me to flourish and really enjoy it. I’ve really enjoyed being engrossed in a high level of playing and learning things in a hands-on-way. I also like the diversity of perspectives and abilities of all the players and teachers which enables me to try things I might not normally."

Oscar, NYJO Under 18s

Jennie (Learning U18s quote)

"NYJO has got me listening to more jazz and learning more changes. It has also helped with working as a band. I’ve really enjoyed the free jazz, learning by ear, the people, and the atmosphere."

Jennie, NYJO Under 18s

Leah-Anais (Learning U18s quote)

"I love the people at NYJO. Everyone here is so encouraging and lovely and it makes the experience worthwhile. Though I have fun I’m still learning on the way which makes me feel productive too."

Leah-Anais, NYJO Under 18s

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