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NYJO

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Biography of NYJO

NYJO is world-famous as a glittering showcase for the country’s best young musicians. Since NYJO’s founding, by Music Director Bill Ashton OBE in 1965, most of the current generation of top British jazz musicians have risen through its ranks, often becoming established jazz stars whilst still playing with the band. One of NYJO’s aims is to share the talents of exciting young players with as wide a potential audience as possible. NYJO is known for its unique swinging big band sound. Much of its music is especially written for the orchestra by British composers, often past and present members of the band. The music repertoire is huge, covering a wide variety of styles suitable for different occasions. NYJO’s concerts can be enjoyed by non-jazz audiences and jazz-lovers alike. Another of NYJO’s aims is to raise the profile of jazz, especially amongst young people, and so schools’ concerts are an important part of NYJO’s schedule. NYJO has performed many hundreds of concerts all over Britain, from Ronnie Scott’s, The Barbican, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Usher Hall Edinburgh, The Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall, to theatres, clubs and schools. It has made numerous TV and radio programmes, recorded around 40 albums, and visited most European Countries as well as USA, Australia and New Zealand. NYJO is recognised as a world-class jazz orchestra, and regularly tops the bill at festivals. In July 2002 NYJO was voted Best Big Band for the 4th time in the British Jazz Awards. Bill Ashton received the BBC Radio 2 Jazz Award in 1995 for his Services to Jazz, and received the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group’s Special Award in 2007.

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