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About NYJC

Our Mission and related Activities

The National Youth Jazz Collective [NYJC] supports the creative & educational needs of the young jazz musician, focusing on small group improvisation within a pathway of progression from beginners to young professionals.

Our Key Mission is to…

  • bring young jazz enthusiasts together to develop their skills, passion and experience as jazz players
  • offer music education for 8 –18  year olds helping them to play by ear in small groups and to learn to improvise, compose, arrange and lead their own bands
  • provide materials for music teachers and schools to encourage young musicians to improvise

NYJC is a registered charity.

How do we do this?

  • We have a large team of world class jazz performers and educators who provide tuition to NYJC students
  • We run regular workshops at centres across the UK
  • We run an annual summer school every year

Our Artistic Director is saxophonist/composer Issie Barratt who founded NYJC in 2007 in collaboration with over 40 world class jazz musicians and educators.

Our President is jazz luminary Dave Holland – known for his work with many of the most formative names in jazz. Dave has regularly taken time to visit us from his home in New York, and takes part in our National Youth Jazz Summer School.

Summer School and regional sessions

The NYJC runs an amazing annual Summer School, selecting 45 of the nation’s best young jazz musicians from a 16 day audition tour. Placed in one of five ensembles and supported by 15 world class performers / educators, everyone’s playing gets a huge boost.

In addition, we conduct a series of regional monthly sessions around the country – open to players of any standard.

We focus on…

  • Promoting an age-appropriate methodology for jazz education that fosters the skills needed for playing jazz in small groups;
  • Running a weeklong National Youth Jazz Summer School, open to all-comers through a national audition tour of regional centres, plus a week-long feeder course for auditionees with more limited jazz knowledge and experience;
  • Supporting a rolling programme of regional activities for young jazz musicians across England to develop their skills, creativity and passion for improvised music;
  • Passing on best practice in education for musicianship through skill development of national and regional music leaders;
  • Networking alumni members to stimulate their collective endeavors as young adults and increase the profile of jazz as a valuable musical expression for young people;
  • Encouraging a diverse and broad-ranging repertoire of musical works that champions the often-forgotten eclectic influences of UK jazz’s past century;
  • Engaging in culturally eclectic collaborative projects where young people and organisations share and develop their capabilities in improvisation and composition;
  • Conducting gender focused work to encourage more female instrumentalists to become leading exponents of the jazz idiom
  • Offering online services including resources for teaching and learning, exemplary youth jazz performances, signposting information, research and networking.
  • Promoting young jazz performers in a broad range of venues (not just music) maximizing NYJCs reach to a wider participatory and listening audience.
  • Supporting a dedicated social media network.