New audition process at NYJO

There are  more signs of change all the time, a move to greater transparency and openness at NYJO. It is  catching up fast with the times, listening to, and responding to the recommendations of a wide range of jazz educators.  Latest to change is the audition process. Rather than having to demonstrate their abilities in open rehearsals, NYJO is moving to a proper selection process.

 The first part of the process for applicants is to send in a video.  The final auditions in Leeds on 3rd December and in London on 7th January.

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Mark Armstrong: “Change is necessary. Previously NYJO was often seen as a great finishing school for session musicians and a lot of our material focussed on sight-reading. Now the professional climate has changed, and much of this work has gone. While all the vital skills of reading, being a team player, composing and arranging, guiding less experienced players, etc. still need to addressed, many of our musicians now want a more jazz-oriented experience. A deeper engagement with groove and creative improvisation in the widest range of musical styles will help build tomorrow’s community of active jazz musicians. To achieve this we need a performing squad of the best 30-35 young jazz players, regardless of where they are and whatever their background.

NYJO, NYJO 2 and NYJO London will still be offering open rehearsals every week and it remains the case that anyone who wants can find a place in the NYJO learning structure: one of the aims is to make the great readers more creative and musically sensitive, and help the creative, sensitive players get better reading chops! But the performing band will be selected, and it’s likely the very best UK jazz players will have considerable ability on both sides of the coin.”

Nigel Tully: “It has taken two years of hard graft to get all of this established. It will probably take a year or two more to make a difference. Youth jazz educators will get up to speed and make it happen for their musicians. Groups that feel they have been under-represented now have a transparent process on which to focus. And if musicians want to be the best of the best, then we have provided a big band route.”

For anyone interested in auditioning, Sean Corby, ex Tomorrow’s Warriors and Roundhouse, is the man to talk to : Here’s his email address .

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