Our DYJO Ambassadors are a vital part of our set-up – not only do they extend their jazz skills in the setting of a small-band ensemble (no written-out charts, and even greater emphasis on aural and soloing skills), but, as the name implies, they are the group which takes the word about jazz out into the wider educational community.
Later in the season the focus will be on this ‘outreach’ into Devon schools, but Sunday’s first session was all about gelling as a band, and learning some great jazz under the expert guidance of DYJO alumnus (and guitarist) Ben Lee. I couldn’t be there this time to see the fun, but Nic and Maria were!
The new season’s Ambassadors got off to a great start at today’s first rehearsal. After warming up with some work on chords and modes (all helpfully written down on a piece of paper several metres long!), the group went on to rehearse standards such as Scrapple from the Apple, alongside a brand new piece composed by Harry.
But perhaps the most fun was had just after lunch, when Ben used drinking straws and scissors to demonstrate how altering the length of a pipe can change the pitch of the note produced. Although the Ambassadors are some of our older players, their reaction to Ben’s demonstration wasn’t very different from how their audiences in Devon’s Primary Schools might be expected to respond!
Photos from Maria