Peter Bacon reports:
The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) has announced what it describes as “the most exciting development in its 54-year history”. It’s the NYJO Jazz Exchange, a two-year national project encouraging young professional musicians to “take charge of their artistic voice”.
Here is how they explain it in their press release:
“For the first time, NYJO’s national professional programme will reach those seeking alternatives to the traditional jazz orchestra format, through the creation of a new ensemble.
“Launching in January 2020, the NYJO Jazz Exchange will empower ten musicians to identify their creative needs and drive their own professional careers. They will be supported by world-class mentorship, regular rehearsals, paid performances and masterclasses.
“Recruitment will welcome both nominated and self-nominated applicants, with particular focus on regions outside London. NYJO will work closely with the jazz community to identify suitable applicants.
“The first ensemble will be coached by award-winning instrumentalist, Orphy Robinson MBE. Orphy works in a variety of forms including jazz, free improvisation and funk, and has a long-standing association with classical violinist Nigel Kennedy.
“Orphy said: ‘It is a privilege to be leading the NYJO Jazz Exchange. This exciting new project will provide progressive professional opportunities to those who don’t identify with traditional musical education routes. As a young player, I would have benefited enormously from this scheme. The jazz scene is constantly changing, and it’s important that NYJO does too.’
“The NYJO Jazz Exchange is jointly funded by Arts Council England and the Peter Sowerby Foundation.”