The National Youth Jazz Orchestra launches the NYJO Jazz Exchange

Young musicians are given the chance to take charge of their artistic voice

Today, NYJO, (the National Youth Jazz Orchestra) has announced a new initiative to help professional musicians “take charge of their artistic voice”. The scheme is called ‘Jazz Exchange’ and is a national two year project starting in January, supporting artists with mentorship, regular rehearsals, paid performances and masterclasses, with particular focus on regions outside of London. A statement from NYJO says they’ll work closely with the jazz community to identify suitable applicants.


The first ensemble will be coached by award-winning instrumentalist, Orphy Robinson MBE. Multiple Jazz FM Award winner and founder member of the legendary Jazz Warriors Orphy works in a variety of forms including jazz, free improvisation and funk. Orphy said:

“It is a privilege to be leading the NYJO Jazz Exchange. This exciting new project will provide progressive professional opportunities to those who don’t identify with traditional musical education routes. As a young player, I would have benefited enormously from this scheme. The jazz scene is constantly changing, and it’s important that NYJO does too.”

The NYJO Jazz Exchange is jointly funded by Arts Council England and the Peter Sowerby Foundation.

Joyce Wilson, London Area Director at Arts Council England said:

“We are pleased to support the National Youth Jazz Orchestra as it develops the careers of outstanding emerging professionals. Supporting musicians by providing space and resources within a flexible framework, encouraging creative risk-taking and valuing young artists’ voices and ideas is an important investment the future health of the jazz community.”

David Aspinall, Chair of Trustees at the Peter Sowerby Foundation said:

“This grant for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra builds on a successful round of activity supported by the Peter Sowerby Foundation for young people in Yorkshire. We look forward to seeing the talent and potential that it uncovers for the future benefit of jazz development nationwide.”

For more information and to find out how to apply click here.

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