For our final concert we have managed to engage The National Youth Jazz Orchestra who play just 40 international concerts a year. These exceptional musicians and their singer, directed by Mark Armstrong, will bring classic, cool, big band and vocal sounds to the Bawtree Concert Hall. Our bespoke programme explores jazz greats from the 1920s to 1950s, including 'Lady be Good' and 'Our Love is Here to Stay', both especially arranged by NYJO; Count Basie's version of 'All of Me' and many others.
"NYJO has never been conformist, never hewing to one particular line, never known for fawning replications and very deliberately these days a vehicle for new possibilities." Jazzwise, March 2017
These highly qualified, specialist jazz musicians are all under 26, selected from right across UK for their virtuosity and potential. In its 53 years NYJO has launched many careers such as Dave Arch plus most of his BBC Strictly Come Dancing band and many others including Martin Koch, musical supervisor to the London Olympics, and Amy Winehouse. The orchestra has performed at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, Europe's top jazz festivals, at Buckingham Palace and the BBC Proms where they received this 4* review from The Guardian:
"The NYJO is a British jazz institution… their combination of youthful intensity and pinpoint accuracy can be quite overwhelming, the playing - both solo and ensemble - makes it outstanding by any standards".