NYJO Stories: Dan Coulthurst

July 12, 2022

Dan Coulthurst was raised in a musical family and started learning the trumpet aged 8. After initially pursuing a keen interest in classical music, Dan found his true passion in Jazz – particularly Big Band. During his time studying at Leeds College of Music, Dan got involved in as many different musical activities as possible, which included performing with world renowned artists such as Baptise Herbin and Iain Ballamy.  

Having the opportunity to perform and rehearse Big Band music so regularly made Dan perfectly suited to joining the Jazz Orchestra, which he did in 2019. Dan is also a band leader and composer for his own quartet, ‘The Dan Coulthurst Quartet’ that has performed at a number of concerts such as Wakefield Jazz Festival and as the support band for Mike Walker at Seven Arts as well as having a twice monthly residency at Sela Bar, Leeds. 

As a member of NYJO, Dan has had the opportunity to play at venues such as Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club and Leeds Town Hall as well as being commissioned to perform music composed by saxophonist Josephine Davies. Dan is not only a gifted versatile musician, but his efforts for NYJO have spanned multiple projects and initiatives, including his mentor/support work in NYJO Learning, utilising his experience to give back to generation below. 

As well as having a keen passion for Jazz, Dan also writes and plays in the Neo-Soul outfit Mamilah. Following the release of their first EP ‘Moonlight Walking’ Mamilah have been featured frequently on Alan Raw’s BBC Introducing Show in West Yorkshire, being highlighted on his ‘Ones to Watch in 2019’ broadcast and featured on Bandcamp’s ‘Best Soul of August 2018’ article. Earlier this year Mamilah released their second EP ‘Talk Less’ to great acclaim, with Jazz Revelations reviewing the EP and giving it 4 out of 5 stars whilst the lead single from the EP ‘Speak Freedom’, was added to BBC Sounds’ playlist ‘Working From Home Mix’. During last summer Mamilah played at a number of festivals including Boomtown Festival and El Dorado Festival. 

Now 25, Dan will look beyond NYJO and seek to apply his talents to new projects. Whatever they will be, we have every faith will be well worth taking the time to check out. 

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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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