She Said – out soon!

August 15, 2022

She Said out 7 October


NYJO’s latest studio album, She Said, was recorded in 2019 at the legendary Air Studios, in London. Released into a different world, three years later, its message remains pressing; the project is a celebration of women’s contribution to jazz, featuring past, present, and future female jazz musicians.

She Said features a 24-piece NYJO Jazz Orchestra comprised of a stellar line-up of emerging professional musicians aged 18-25 and a group of younger musicians from NYJO’s London Academy, who were there to gain vital experience alongside an incredible list of guest artists from multiple generations of UK jazz history, such as Norma Winstone, Georgina Jackson, Josephine Davies, Shirley Smart, Laura Jurd, Issie Barratt, Nikki Iles, and Yazz Ahmed. 



It was a pleasure to be involved with a collection of stunning music, both old and new, highlighting the ongoing contribution to the evolving history of jazz by women.

Shirley Smart, Guest Cello   


One of those young musicians was trumpeter, Kara Devlin, who remembers her experience at the recording fondly: “Recording the album was brilliant for helping me get real-world experienceas a musician because as a youngperson and a woman it’s especially difficult to find these opportunities. It helped me to work in a professional setting, and it was great fun to play with all of my friendstoo! 


The brief for the guest creatives was simple: to compose freely, drawing on the creative possibilities offered by a big band to express their voice as women in jazz. 

It was an honour to be asked to be a part of this really important project. NYJO is such a crucial institution and I was proud to be a part of it years ago, when there were only a few females ever in the brass section!  The band recorded this live with me in 2 takes that’s amazing, I think I was much more nervous than they were! 

There is such a lovely, socially and musically supportive feeling in NYJO this is wonderful for the future of all musicians and audiences alike.

Georgina Jackson, Guest Trumpet & Vocals  



Surrounding the original commissions, She Said also honours the work of female composers throughout the decades, from Lil Hardin’s 1920s jazz standard, ‘Struttin’ with Some Barbecue’, to Billie Holiday’s ‘God Bless the Child’.   

Like NYJO, She Said hopes to encourage an inter-generational dialogue, to nurture and inspire a new cohort of aspiring musicians.   


It was a joy to be involved in the recording of ‘She Said’ at London’s iconic AIR studios to mark the end of my time with NYJO. I’m so thankful to Charlie [Bates] for his beautifully bespoke arrangement of ‘Celeste’. It was a joy to have the opportunity to contribute this stunning piece to the album ; made even more special by the fact that it features album special guest Norma Winstone’s gorgeous lyric. She’s a real inspiration, so to be singing some of her work and to be included on the same record celebrating female musicians and composers is something to be proud of.

Luca Manning, (former) NYJO Vocals  

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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