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NYJO Fifty

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NYJO Fifty
NYJO Fifty


'NYJO FIFTY' celebrates the 50th anniversary of a British institution, The National Youth Jazz Orchestra. The album reflects the wide range in repertoire, style and musical colours for which NYJO has become known, with a look at new repertoire and some of the band's past favourites to celebrate 50 years as the UK's premier youth big band.

A double-disc album, the band's contemporary material makes up Disc 1 with more traditional material on Disc 2. The album features special guest soloists in Mark Nightingale (trombone) and Gareth Lockrane (flute). Mark's "He's Just My Bill" has been a stalwart, and as yet unrecorded, selection in NYJO's live concerts for many years. Gareth is featured on the Yellowjackets' number "Rush Hour". The album also features saxophonist Julian Siegel and his "Mama Badgers", while guest pianist Zoe Rahman's "Red Squirrel" gets a reworking from its original piano-trio version into a full-scale big band arrangement by NYJO Artistic & Music Director Mark Armstrong.

Since 2010 NYJO has commissioned new music from leading UK jazz composers. Some of this was featured on their 2012 release The Change and this time includes "Wintermute" by Kit Downes, "No Man Is An Island" by Laura Jurd and "Sub Hub Hubbub" by Jason Yarde. The album also remembers the great Stan Tracey in ex-NYJO pianist Steve Melling's arrangement of "Ballad for Loos", taken from Stan's final release The Flying Pig.

NYJO is one of Britain's longest-running ensembles for young people under 25 playing big-band jazz. Founded by Bill Ashton OBE in 1965, the orchestra offered aspiring young musicians the opportunity to rehearse, write and gain experience in live performance at a time when UK jazz education was in its infancy. NYJO features 23 musicians and vocalists from around the country, most of whom go on to become professional musicians. Alumni include Guy Barker, Mark Nightingale, Gerard Presencer, Pete Long, Dennis and Winston Rollins and Amy Winehouse.


  1. Name
  2. Mama Badgers
  3. Dreams
  4. Wintermute
  5. Rush Hour
  6. Sea Master
  7. Sub Hub Hubub
  8. No Pão de Açuar
  9. Red Squirrel
  10. No Man Is An Island
  11. St. Louis Blues
  12. He's Just My Bill
  13. Ballad For Loos
  14. Lullaby Of Broadway
  15. My Romance
  16. Never The Twain
  17. What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life
  18. A Foggy Day
  19. Going Dutch
  20. Finding My Feet
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