NYJONational Youth Jazz Orchestra
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You'll be working with the NYJO for the Lichfield performance - have you worked with them much before?
I think the NYJO is without doubt a really important institution in the musical life of the UK and I'm really happy to see the changes in structure and direction it has taken over the last few years.
NYJO has been upholding real big band music for many years.
Guy Barker, Nigel Hitchcock, Dave O'Higgins, Gerard Presencer and Chris Biscoe have all passed through NYJO's ranks.
It was blistering stuff, but one man in the theatre remained ice cool - veteran musical director Bill Ashton, who founded NYJO in 1965.
NYJO draws the best young players from all over the country into its ranks.
It is now forty years since Ashton founded NYJO and he wears his advancing years lightly, presiding over his young Turks like a slightly world-weary but proud magician.
One NYJO aim is to give young musicians from all over the UK the chance to play big band jazz.
An adopted Yorkshireman, his career began in brass bands, then progressed to the Doncaster Jazz Association and to NYJO and The Jazz Warriors and Courtney Pine, till eventually he formed his widely acclaimed jazz/funk band Badbone & Co.
Following early stints with the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra and the NYJO (National Youth Jazz Orchestra) he became a Jazz Warriors, under the guidance of Courtney Pine.