This week, NYO Jazz, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute’s newest programme for young musicians, embarks on its inaugural tour, performing at festivals in the UK, The Netherlands and Germany.
The 24 musicians selected for the inaugural band will arrive on tour following a two-week residency at Purchase College NY, where they worked with some of the finest musicians in the jazz industry. Their debut performance will take place this Friday at Carnegie Hall.
Led by former Jazz at Lincoln Center trumpeter Sean Jones (pictured above), the group will be joined on stage by Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Dianne Reeves. Their repertoire includes big band classics, alongside pieces with origins in R&B and hip-hop. They will also present new arrangements from jazz and classical bassist John Clayton and pianist John Beasley, and a brand new original composition from alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, all commissioned specially for NYO Jazz.
“Music education was so important to me growing up. When I got older and garnered some sort of success, I wanted to make sure that I gave back and was that mentor for young students that my teachers had been to me. NYO Jazz is the perfect opportunity to do that on a grand scale. It’s going to be wonderful for these students and for me. I don’t think they yet understand the magnitude of what’s about to happen in their lives! I’m overjoyed to have this opportunity to play America’s music in the way that I’ve always imagined it – no barriers, no lines, nothing holding us back.”