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Creative Leadership Ensemble

The Creative Leadership Ensemble is one of NYJC’s flagship ensembles - An annual programme designed for 12 of the nation’s most talented female musicians aged 14 to 18 

Nurturing female role models

Founded in 2013 (in partnership with the Institute of Education) the intention of the initiative is not only to support, mentor, champion and celebrate the year’s 12 advanced female musicians, but to also provide more female role models and mentors for young musicians – Supporting NYJC’s commitment to redressing the gender imbalance by encouraging other girls to take up jazz.

Collaborating to perform and educate

CLE meets monthly, during the course of half a year, collectively generating up to an hour’s worth of original repertoire, designed to be performed to large audiences at national music festivals, music centres and schools.

Parts of their compositions are developed into workshop repertoire, which the CLE musicians lead at pre-gig workshops and visits into music services and schools.

27 January 2015 – National Youth Jazz Collective play at House of Commons alongside jazz luminary Dave Holland

Issie Barratt

Issie Barratt

“I started NYJC’s CLE initiative in 2013, After 25-years working as an internationally active composer, conductor, record producer, as well as founding head of jazz at a conservatoire and Founding Artistic Director of NYJC I was astonished at how few girls and women I was working with whenever the work I was doing involved jazz! I was really keen to work out why, so invited a colleague at the Institute of Education to co-lead a practical research project (funded by Youth Music) What we unearthed was both informative and at times quite astonishing! Thanks to the keen support, as well as enthusiasm and creativity, of the young musicians that took part in our pilot project, we finished the year with not only an extremely insightful report but also an hour’s set of highly imaginative and really strong new music which was performed at Kings Place, Leicester and London Jazz Festivals and the All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group’s annual concert at the House of Commons – The latter was with a very special guest- NYJC’s President Dave Holland whom the band had invited themselves! (We encourage all our young musicians to be bold and never afraid to ask!)”

Moving online

2020’s CLE programme was launched at the University of Birmingham – who’d kindly offered to host our six month series of workshop days.

Due to the coronavirus we’ve since moved the workshops online – the girls are really working their socks off!