NYJC videos featuring DYJO players…

You might recall that we had no less than five DYJO players gain places to and attend the National Youth Jazz Collective Summer School this year (and supported by DYJO funding). It’s certainly to DYJO’s collective benefit that our young players are taking even more time out to enhance their jazz skills with some of the top musicians in the country, as they can then inspire everyone else in DYJO (including us tutors!) with their playing.

The application and audition process for next year’s summer school will be starting soon, so as an encouragement for all young aspiring jazz musicians to participate in the process, here are two videos featuring Kai Craig and Will Pearce:

NYJC Summer School 2016 Cleveland Watkiss and Gareth Lockrane’s Group

NYJC Summer School 2016 Laura Jurd and Mark Mondesir’s Group

Do keep an eye out here for the announcements for the 2017 Summer School!


Teignmouth triumph!

We had a fabulous night at Teignmouth last night! In true jazz fashion we were kept on our toes, as our special guest soloist, Paul Towndrow, travelling down from Glasgow, arrived just before the gig after a nightmare journey. You’d never have guessed it though, as he blew the audience away as soon as he launched into his first solo with DYJO2 in Almost The Blues: I could see the players in DYJO2 listen in amazement at the stream of notes pouring from Paul’s alto sax. Of course as well as Paul’s solos, there were many superb solos from the band members too, who will no doubt have been inspired by Paul’s playing.

After the interval, DYJO1 delivered a strong and varied set, again with great solos from around the band, and four feature numbers from Paul, including the lovely Crystal Silence. The set had started with the perennial favourite Manteca, included A Night in Tunisia, a great arrangement of Wonderwall (sung by Will Pearce), and ended with the delightfully off-the-wall Bjork arrangement of It’s Oh So Quiet sung by Vicky Lannin.

One special note must go to the venue, the new Pavilions theatre. After so many years in the old Carlton, despite fondness for the old place, it was an absolute delight to play in this gleaming new addition to Teignmouth: it both looks and sounds terrific. We hope we’ll be able to enjoy as many appearances in the Pavilions, as part of the Teignmouth Jazz Festival, as we did in the old Carlton!

Thanks are due to the theatre, the Festival, the players (and their parents!), as well as (especially) a very large and enthusiastic audience: it wouldn’t be the same without you!

DYJO at the Teignmouth Jazz Festival!

This Friday will mark DYJO’s annual show at the Teignmouth Jazz Festival, with special guest soloist Paul Towndrow. As usual, the two bands will present a wide range of great music, from the earliest swing (tunes such as Begin the Beguine, in the arrangement made famous by Artie Shaw) to the most up-to-date funk (such as a really cool arrangement of the classic Gershwin I Got Rhythm).

And, very excitingly, we will be at the fabulous new Pavilions Theatre, which replaced the dear old Carlton Theatre. It’s going to be a bit strange to know that we’re in the same location as the old theatre was – maybe some of the old vibes are still there!

If you’d like to come to hear us, tickets are available from the Pavilions Teignmouth. The show kicks off at 8pm.



You’ll probably have gathered that we have two fully functioning bands already this season. But as we like to give as many young musicians as possible the chance to learn with us, we’d still like to hear from any young tenor sax players, trumpeters and reading drummers who would be interested in trying us out. There’s more info at http://dyjo.org/joinus.html.

Anyone joining us would have as exciting a season with is as it’s possible to imagine: as well as many prestigious appearances throughout Devon, this year, of course, we’ll be playing at two of the world’s best jazz festivals (Vienne and Montreux) in July!

Do email us at mail@dyjo.org if you’d like to know more!

Heatree – done!

What a whirlwind of a last day at Heatree! The day began with a superb workshop on Lindy Hop, the dance that grew out of jazz and swing of the 1920s and 30s. Duncan and Louise of Mad About Swing delivered two excellently paced sessions, with each band playing while the other band learnt a sequence of steps. I didn’t seem to be much better at this than I was at tap dancing, so maybe I’ll stick to playing the trumpet and riding my bike. But it was still fun! From a musician’s point of view, the links between the dance steps and music were absolutely fascinating!

After afternoon rehearsals, we got ourselves ready for the early evening giglette for parents. A packed room heard both bands show off what they’d been working on. Though only a small sample of the residential’s work, both bands presented a wide range of styles with aplomb, and we heard solos from numerous confident young musicians.

I think everyone went home with a smile on their face – I certainly did! Massive thanks to everyone, especially the DYJO Association and pastoral carers, without whom this would have been impossible! And of course to parents and players -they just make it so much fun, and so rewarding!

More news about forthcoming events soon, including our first major gig of the season, at the Teignmouth Jazz Festival.

And now, I think we all need a bit of a lie down!

(If you’re wondering about the last photo, I had a brief escape on the bike into the beauty of Dartmoor, to recover from the trauma of my Lindy Hop… the photo is from the road to Widecombe. It reminds me of one reason that Heatree is such a special place.)

Residential, day two

Phew, coming to the end of a second action-packed day! We started with our ‘Learning Thing’, where the bands are mixed up, and have 75 minutes to learn a brand new chart, without our assistance. Yet again the did a great job, with the band ‘Derek’ narrowly winning the prize.

Then more full and sectional rehearsals, with detailed work on repertoire for the Teignmouth Jazz Festival, and solos clinics.

Next up was a carousel of rhythm and pitch activities. And then, after another splendid meal, the traditional jazz jam, giving anyone who wants to play a tune and solo the chance to play to an audience of supportive friends.

Another great day!

Heatree Residential 2016

Here we are again, at the wonderful Heatree Activity Centre, at the end of our first (exhausting) day of our three-day 2016 residential. The day whizzed by with a mixture of intensive full and sectional rehearsals, followed by energetic activities (table tennis and basket ball). And before bed, a film.

More news tomorrow, but for now, Tim and his clipboard, from this morning’s registration… well, as sure as the sun will rise each morning…