FEATURE: NYJO – recap of the year/ the best moments – by those leaving the band (Last gig of 2016 is Xmas Special, Spice of Life, 22nd Dec.)

NYJO directed by Mark Armstrong at the Spice of Life

The NYJO Christmas Special at the Spice of Life on December 22nd will be the band’s last gig of 2016. For a number of NYJO stalwarts, it will also be – nearly – the very last gig which they play in the band. (Their final swan-songs will in fact be the Ronnie Scott’s residency in January.)

So we asked Jonathan Carvell, who joined NYJO earlier this year to run Development and Communications, to sum up the year. In this time of looking back, we also took the opportunity to find out from some of the contingent of players whose time with the band is coming to an end, what they consider were their best moments from their years as members of the orchestra. 

Jonathan writes:

“The band has had a great year, with performances at venues and major festivals across the country, concerts throughout Europe (Milan in July with Fabrizio Bosso, and Germany and the Netherlands in September with the German and Dutch National Youth Jazz Orchestras), a major collaboration with the National Youth Chamber Choir (broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and toured around the UK), as well as masterclasses from top jazz musicians including Bob Mintzer, Wayne Escoffery, Boris Kozlov, Vincent Gardner and Ingrid Jensen.”

We also asked him to talk through the programme for the December 22nd gig (the equivalent gig in 2014 in Stroud, Glos, was filmed by Sky Arts):

“For this gig, NYJO will be drawing on a big pad of jazz Christmas tunes, including Winter Wonderland, The Christmas Song and Sleigh Ride, as well as original takes on carols such as God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.


Anna Drysdale, French horn

Working with Liane Carroll a couple of years ago was amazing. We do several incredibly inspiring things every year, like the BBC Proms in 2012.

Jim Gold – lead alto saxophone 

Two moments which stand out for overwhelming positivity, grand scale, and creative excellence would be the 2012 Prom and the 2016 Tour to Germany and Holland.

David Healey – tenor saxophone 

The tours abroad to Germany and Holland, and the Milan trip were great …. And getting to play the tenor solo at the start of On My Way To Harlem with Gregory Porter at Buckingham Palace.

Tom Dunnett – trombone

The 2016 trip to Milan

David Dyson – drums

Buckingham Palace –  with Gregory Porter    (pp)

LINK: NYJO Christmas Special at the Spice of Life Thursday 22nd December
Doors: 7pm, Music: 8pm – £10/£8 advance

Categories: miscellaneous

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