The national youth Jazz orchestra launches the NYJO Jazz Exchange: Photos, Video

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NYJO announces the most exciting development in its 54-year history: the NYJO Jazz Exchange, a two-year national project encouraging young professional musicians to take charge of their artistic voice.

For the first time, NYJO’s professional national 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. Multiple Jazz FM Award winner and founder member of the legendary Jazz Warriors Orphy works in a variety of forms including jazz, free improvisation and funk. 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.

Joyce Wilson, London Area Director at Arts Council England said:

“We are pleased to support the National Youth Jazz Orchestra as it develops the careers of outstanding emerging professionals. Supporting musicians by providing space and resources within a flexible framework, encouraging creative risk-taking and valuing young artists’ voices and ideas is an important investment the future health of the jazz community.”

David Aspinall, Chair of Trustees at the Peter Sowerby Foundation said:

“This grant for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra builds on a successful round of activity supported by the Peter Sowerby Foundation for young people in Yorkshire. We look forward to seeing the talent and potential that it uncovers for the future benefit of jazz development nationwide.”

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