National Youth Jazz Orchestra releases “NYJO FIFTY” to celebrate its 50th anniversary

By Matt Micucci

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra are to release NYJO FIFTY on November 13 to commemorate their 50th anniversary, which takes place this year.

The album, which will be released via Whirlwind Recordings, is a 2CD album, and it is a collection of repertoire that features a number of special guests, including Mark Nightingale on trombone, Gareth Lochrane on flute and Zoe Rahman on piano.

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra is a British jazz orchestra that was founded in 1965 by acclaimed british saxophonist and composer Bill Ashton OBE. Originally, it was named London Schools’ Orchestra, and its aim as to serve as a reaction to jazz music’s lack of availability in the British education system.

Since its beginnings, it proved to be a keystone arts institution for the United Kingdom. One of the ways in which this shows is its list of great alumni, which includes Gerard Presencer, Pete Long and, of course, Amy Winehouse.

To mark the release of the album NYJO FIFTY, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra will host an afternoon jam session and concert as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival on November 15 at Rich Mix.

Admission to the event is £5 but is free for young musicians who are casually invited to bring their instruments along to an hour long jam, prior to performances from three of the academy ensembles led by Phil Meadows, Gemma Buckenham and Sebastiaan De Krom.

This will be followed by a concert from the main band at 8.30pm, directed by NYJO Artistic Director Mark Armstrong.

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