DYJO’s core function is the education of our players, but also a very important part of our purpose is to get good jazz out there to the general public. In these days when there are so many entertainments on offer, it can be quite a challenge to reach a wide audience, so DYJO is always looking for partners to promote concerts throughout Devon. As well as festivals such as the Dart Music Festival and the Teignmouth Jazz Festival, we also get requests to do charity concerts with partners such last night’s with the Honiton Lions at the Beehive in Honiton.
The advantages of such concerts are many – not only do we get the chance to raise funds for worthy causes (last night’s concert was specifically in aid of Honiton’s TRIP), but we get to play for an audience many of whom might not have come to one of our concerts otherwise. This concert was no exception: of a sell-out audience, about 75% had never heard us before, and they were clearly very impressed with the quality of the musicianship and the professionalism of our young players. It might sound a little immodest to say that within DYJO we know how good the bands are – and we celebrate that, of course – but it is so important that many more people know the level of accomplishment of our young musicians, and that they can celebrate that talent in Devon too.
And, of course, while they are doing that, they are getting to hear a wide range of jazz – last night’s gig ranged from Benny Goodman to Gordon Goodwin, and from Count Basie to Radiohead, and with a range of solo jazz voices from throughout both bands. So, as you see, our educational role goes much further than just our players!