Photos of NYJO
Videos of NYJO

Improvising develops your brain

Here's a great TED Talk by Charles Limb, a medical doctor and a musician with a love of jazz and improvisation who researches the way musical creativity works in the brain.  He's been on a recent BBC Horizon programme about creativity and, in this talk, Charles reviews "how the brain works during musical improvisation".

He has jazz musicians and rappers perform inside an MRI scanner to monitor which parts of their brains are more or less active when they improvise.  Enjoy his talk.  You could say that improvising exercises parts of the brain in ways that 'regular' playing does not reach just showing, once again, how good jazz is for you!


International Jazz Day - 30th April 2013

Trailer for the World International Jazz Day - 30th April 2013.  More details from UNESCO website which says,

"International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change. International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage in April." (my italics)



NYJO (National): Newark 9th March - £5 & Free to attend rehearsal

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra are performing at the Palace Theatre in Newark on Saturday 9th March, 7.30pm.  This event is organised by the enterprising Newark Music Club.  It's a must-see gig for Notts NYJO players who can get in for a bargain £5.  Also, youth musicians can learn by sitting in on NYJO's afternoon rehearsal for free.  More details to follow on this.

NYJO's music repertoire covers a wide variety of styles and much is especially composed for the orchestra by both past and present British composers.  Click here for more details.

Image from Newark and District Council website - 181212

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) with special guests Tim Garland (Sax) and Mark Mondesir (Drums)
'Round Midnight - Comp. Thelonious Monk - Arr. Mark Armstrong.  Live at BBC Proms, The Royal Albert Hall, London, 10th August 2012


JazzSteps Programme Spring 2013

There's a great selection of gigs in the JazzSteps 2013 season at the Bonington, Arnold.
Read the full programme on the JazzSteps website and note tha there's a gig from the Mark Lewandowski Sextet on the 28th February.  Both Mark on bass and Will (Glaser) on drums are NYJO alumni.  We look forward to this and other excellent gigs.


Southwell Jazz Festival 2nd Dec

This first Southwell Jazz Festival is organised by Jonathan Curtis, a Southwell-raised drummer working within the East Midlands music scene.

Get there for the first band of the day - the Jiallo Jazz Quartet - and you will recognise some of the young talented players who also play in NYJO.

The venue for this day of live local jazz is the function suite of the Admiral Rodney Hotel in the heart of Southwell. It starts at 1pm with doors opening from 12:00 noon. The line-up features a host of local jazz talent, from the young Jiallo Jazz Quartet, to the established Ben Martin. Jonathan's own band, Detour Ahead, will be playing at the end of the session.

Ticketing is strictly limited to 120 tickets so it is recommended that you book your tickets in advance.


See/Hear a Painter/Jazz Pianist - November 10 @ Clement Pianos

Clement Pianos are hosting a day with Pianist, Composer and International Fine Artist Paul James. Fine art and music mix - sometimes within the same creative person as here (and, incidentally with classical pianist Stephen Hough who has a first exhibition in London).  On Saturday 10th November at Clement Pianos in Nottingham there are two sessions:

12noon – 4pm Free open session – Art display, and informal salon style performances. Come along during these times to meet and chat with Paul about his art and music and the creative processes involved. See him demonstrate various piano techniques and share experiences and tips.

7pm – 9pm ‘An Audience with Paul James’ – Piano concert and exhibition of Art. Paul performs music from his CD’s ‘Palette to Piano’, and ‘Artist at the Piano’ along with some well known favourites; incorporating an eclectic mix of styles, which demonstrate his versatility as an accomplished composer and pianist. He will also share interesting anecdotes about his life and work as an artist and musician including a fascinating illustrated stage by stage development of a painting.  Paul’s flamboyant fingering of the ivories along with his stunning art exhibits are sure to make for an interesting show that should not be missed. Ticketed event - £5 each available from venue: Clement Pianos, Clement House, 221 Lenton, Boulevard, Nottingham, NG7 2BY
Phone: 0115 9701106 | Email: |

To read more about Paul and his work: |

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