NYJO Learning @ We Out Here

July 19, 2022

In Summer 2022, we were absolutely delighted to receive a donation of tubas and euphoniums from Trevor James. We would like to say a HUGE thank you to Trevor James for offering this opportunity to the young people that we work with. Our young musicians have already benefitted from the generosity of Trevor James, who have donated instruments to NYJO before. Their flutes and baritone saxes have been particularly useful, allowing our players to try out new sounds and significantly expand their skillset. JO musician George Garford has been using one of our Baritones kindly donated by Trevor James, and said:

It’s been a great opportunity to revisit the bari – luckily I’ve been holding onto one of NYJO’s and it’s opened some doors gigs-wise! Likewise, I played my debut soprano sax gig on a NYJO horn back in January at Ronnie Scott’s no less! Access to the NYJO instruments is a massive privilege that I’m very grateful for.

George Garford, NYJO Musician


The tubas are going to feature heavily in our work this Summer… All of the local pupils from our NYJO Jazz Messengers Greenwich Schools’ Tour are invited to attend a big jam session at Woolwich Works on Monday 25th July. Here, they will be offered the chance to jam with some NYJO musicians, take part in a taster session for our brand-new Creative Ensemble, and, most excitingly of all, get their hands on one of our tubas! Young musicians, regardless of whether they’re beginners or more experienced players, will get to experiment and explore with this large brass instrument to create a soundscape that will be recorded for ‘We Out Here Festival’. They can have fun doing something unique and original, discovering ‘proper’ sounds that a tuba can make as well as experimenting with its weird and wonderful noises, to create a digital/live soundscape.

Everyone attending this workshop is eligible for the draw for free ‘We Out Here’ family tickets, and we will help any young people who show a particular interest or proficiency in the tuba to access lessons (and maybe even an instrument…). This aspect of the project will be led by the brilliant Andy Grappy. Andy is an experienced tuba player and educator. He has performed with, amongst others, the Mike Westbrook Big Band, Hermeto Pascoal, Jazz Warriors, Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Loose Tubes, Grand Union Orchestra, The London Symphony Orchestra, and Abdullah Ibrahim.

The tubas will be coming along with us to ‘We Out Here’ festival, offering us the chance to give another workshop to festival attendees led by NYJX’s Bassist Fergus Quill. Keep an eye out whilst you’re there, as you may even get to see some of this work performed in various formats across the festival!

As a Learning department, we are hugely excited by the chance to promote such a unique and special instrument within our community. We’re very grateful to have the opportunity to continue challenging people’s pre-conceptions around what you can do with jazz music, and to expand the opportunities available to our community of musicians. We want all of the young people that we work with to think big with their musical goals, and you don’t get much bigger than a tuba!

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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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