NYJO Summer

June 5, 2024

This Summer, we are running four very exciting projects that we can’t wait to tell you all about! It’s shaping up to be a busy one for the NYJO team, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.


First Time Jazz schools’ tour

After last year’s successful schools’ tour in North Lincolnshire, we’re embarking on our next First Time Jazz excursion, this time in Lancashire, from 8-12 July. The programme is a first-access project designed to introduce school pupils to jazz and creative music-making, by taking a team of 4 NYJO musicians/educators to deliver jazz-inspired gigs and workshops in local schools, which are fun, accessible, interactive, and inspirational. This year, the group will be led by singer-songwriter and educator Wolfie.

You can read all about last year’s tour here.


The Fire Next Time! A Tribute to James Baldwin

On the 2nd of August, we’re paying homage to James Baldwin, one of the most important and celebrated voices in the American civil rights movement, on the centenary of his birth. Curated by NYJO alumna and vocalist Lucy-Anne Daniels and led by MD, pianist and composer Peter Edwards, the tribute will be performed at Bold Tendencies, in Peckham, as part of their Summer-long Communion programme.

This performance will explore Baldwin‘s work, the emotional & intellectual motifs that run through it, and how music can capture the same themes he helped propel into the important conversations around race, gender, and power dynamics in the last century.

You can book your tickets here.


NYJO Reimagines Sun Ra at We Out Here Festival

For this year’s iteration of our favourite Summer festival – We Out Here (15-18 August) – we are reimagining Sun Ra’s underground classic Space is the Place, under the direction of award-winning multi-disciplinarian artist Cleveland Watkiss. A 12-piece NYJO ensemble will be joined by vocalists, poets, and spoken-word artists for a performance inspired by and embodying the spirit of Afrofuturism. The performance will be the culmination of a collaborative creation process, where Cleveland will lead an ideas-incubator, to which NYJO musicians will contribute throughout the summer.

It goes without saying that we’ll also be bringing the famed NYJO Tubas on another outing, to deliver daily workshops in the family area, led by legendary educator Andy Grappy for the third year running. If you’re planning to go to the festival, make sure to come say hi!

You can read more about what we got up to at the festival last year here.


NYJO x Steam Down Coal Drops Yard takeover

We’re once again partnering with Steam Down this summer! After an amazing half-term project in February, we’ve invited the collective to join us for a day-long takeover of Coal Drops Yard‘s Summer Sounds festival, on 25 August. The collaboration will happen on two fronts: we are delivering an education project for young people in King’s Cross and the surrounding areas, led by Steam Down vocalist SHANTÉH, to create poetry and spoken word pieces to be performed at the festival.

We will also be debuting a special NYJO Big Band x Steam Down programme, where NYJO and Steam Down will takeover the stage together to play original arrangements by bandleader and founder Ahnansé!

The day will be free and unticketed! You can read about our half-term project with Steam Down, and listen to the amazing music it produced here.


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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