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Celebration of youth at Jazz Festival

13 April 2022
Bringing jazz to young people will be one of the focuses of this year’s City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival as the NYJO host a masterclass celebrating and exploring music, as well as a special Amy Winehouse-themed performance.
The London-based music charity empowers young jazz musicians and inspires audiences across the UK through engaging participation projects and impactful live performances. Founded in 1965, NYJO has grown from a single jazz orchestra to a multifaceted organisation that is committed to supporting and developing musicians of all styles and standards.
The NYJO jazz masterclass will take place from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Friday 29th April in the Great Hall on the Ulster University Magee campus.
NYJO will work with students to explore how to internalise the essential elements of music and how to use these creatively to improvise and fashion arrangements in a jazz style.
The practical elements of the workshop will be combined with some discussion about the wider context and value of learning music.
As well as the masterclass, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra will be in the Guildhall on the evening of Friday 29th April for a very special and exciting celebration of the life of Amy Winehouse.
Marking the tenth anniversary of Amy’s passing, the show will be reimagining hits and re-visiting early works she sang with the 24-piece National Youth Jazz Orchestra as a promising 16-year-old singer back in 2000 - honouring her life and her work with a performance that both fans of big band jazz and Amy obsessives will enjoy together.
Andrea Campbell, Festival Co-Ordinator with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said the inclusion of a youth themed element within the festival was an important feature.
“One of the great things about our annual Jazz festival is seeing the amount of children and young people enjoying and exploring this genre of music and learning more about it.
“This year we are delighted to have the renowned National Youth Jazz Orchestra as part of the festival programme where they will share their knowledge with young people at Magee before what promises to be a very special night at the Guildhall for their dedicated show to former member, Amy Winehouse.
“Jazz is something for people of all ages to enjoy and get involved with, and with the NYJO masterclass and show we hope to engage even more young people in the brilliant world of jazz.”
Winston Rollins, Music Director, NYJO, added: “We’re really excited to be a part of such a fantastic event. Given the theme of this years’ festival, we hope our involvement can also help to inspire more young musicians to express themselves through jazz in all its forms.”
The NYJO masterclass at Ulster University will take place on Friday 29th April from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and is open to all, with booking not necessary.
‘NYJO Presents… Amy Winehouse: A Celebration of her Life & Music’ is a ticketed event taking place in the Guildhall on Friday 29th April at 8pm. Tickets can be purchased for £12 by visiting https://bit.ly/3v4TMU1
The 2022 City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival will take place from Thursday 28th April to Monday 2nd May.
To view the full programme, visit cityofderryjazzfestival.com or download the What’s On Derry Strabane app.