Alumni news: Matt Hollick

It’s always exciting to hear the news of past DYJO players, especially when its of the magnitude of that of Matt Hollick, who played electric and double bass with DYJO (in both DYJO2 & DYJO1) for several years. Just before Christmas, he was given the exciting news that he’d been offered the bass chair in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, based in London. NYJO includes players up to the age of 24, for many bridging the time after music college as they launch their professional jazz careers. NYJO’s list of alumni reads like a who’s-who of British Jazz, so Matt will be joining an extremely select group!

Matt is currently studying a Bachelor of Music in jazz at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and playing with big bands such as Fat Chops, various small bands across Birmingham, The FlyBoys and orchestras such as the Welsh Musical Theatre Orchestra.

From a musical family with five older siblings, Matt started his musical life learning the cornet with his father, soon moving onto the trombone, gaining his Grade 7 when he was 13. After picking up the electric bass in the same year, Matt was encouraged to join the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra (DYJO) by his teacher at the time, Michael Isaac. This was the start of his love for jazz. For the five years during which Matt was part of DYJO, he gained much performing experience including venues and festivals such as the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony and Town Halls, Montreux, Vienne and Nišville Jazz Festivals.

At the age of 16, Matt began classical lessons on the double bass in order to achieve equal playing ability between the two basses. In the same year, he gained grade 8 on the electric bass. Now in his third year at the The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Matt is extremely excited by the opportunities and challenges that being a member of NYJO will offer. Over the last 12 months, Matt has been part of 4 album recordings / releases, and many more are already planned in 2020. He is also hoping to develop a career as a composer for film and other media.


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