Carnegie Hall’s new national youth jazz orchestra NYO Jazz will culminate its work with the ensemble’s historic first-ever international tour. Acclaimed trumpeter Sean Jones leads NYO Jazz with iconic jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves as a special guest artist.
NYO Jazz’s 2018 European tour — featuring 22 outstanding young American jazz musicians selected from across the United States — takes place from July 31 through August 10, with debut performances at some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls and music festivals to inspire audiences with America’s beloved musical genre.
Following NYO Jazz’s Carnegie Hall debut in New York City on July 27, the ensemble will travel first to London for a performance in Bury St. Edmunds at The Apex (July 31) and Cadogan Hall (August 1), followed by a concert the next evening in Amsterdam at Robeco SummerNights at the Royal Concertgebouw (August 2). The tour continues with a concert at Usher Hall in Edinburgh at the invitation of the Edinburgh International Festival (August 5), followed by a performance in Kassel, Germany at Kultursommer Nordhessen (August 8). The tour concludes with a concert in Berlin at the Young Euro Classic Festival at the Konzerthaus (August 10).
The NYO Jazz concerts offer a rare chance to hear the five-time Grammy Award winner Reeves perform with a big band, singing jazz standards in new arrangements that have been especially commissioned for this tour.
Throughout the tour, NYO Jazz’s program will range from big band standards to the first Carnegie Hall-commissioned works for NYO Jazz, a new piece by saxophonist Miguel Zenón and several new arrangements from bassist John Clayton, as well as other contemporary pieces that explore jazz's influence on hip-hop, R&B, and pop music.
NYO Jazz’s 2018 touring activities have been designed to allow America’s finest young musicians to share their artistry with international audiences while also experiencing the richness of European culture and music. As part of their travel schedule, NYO Jazz players will have the exciting opportunity to tour the cities in which they will be performing, and in London they will engage with local musicians from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO).
"I look forward to sharing a truly unique educational and cultural experience with the students who will come together this summer to create NYO Jazz, as well as inspiring audiences with memorable performances that place the spotlight on our gifted youth," said Sean Jones. "NYO Jazz will demonstrate that the Big Band is the perfect vehicle to reveal the diversity, scope, and profound ability of jazz music to express the vast dynamics within American music."
NYO Jazz builds on the success of the acclaimed National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and its sister ensemble NYO2, programs created by Carnegie Hall to bring together the finest young classical musicians from across the country each summer.
NYO Jazz aims to be one of the nation’s most distinctive summer jazz programs for student musicians, combining training, performance, and international touring. All three Carnegie Hall national youth ensemble programs are offered free-of-charge to all participants. The members of the 2018 orchestra—ages 16-19—have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest jazz musicians in the country, following a rigorous and highly-competitive audition process.
In preparation for NYO Jazz’s Carnegie Hall debut and 2018 European tour, the group’s musicians participated in an intensive two-week training residency from July 15-26 on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York. The musicians had the opportunity to play alongside talented peers and learn from the NYO Jazz faculty, comprised of world-class jazz masters, who led in-depth training workshops, master classes, and other seminars on essential music skills.
"We are very excited to bring together some of the most brilliant young jazz players from across the country to form the very first NYO Jazz," said Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall. "It is our hope to empower these superb musicians to further develop their artistry and inspire audiences around the world through performances of America’s beloved art form. We look forward to what promises to be a truly memorable summer of life-changing experiences through unparalleled training with esteemed artists and performance opportunities at home and in Europe where the inaugural members of NYO Jazz will serve as musical ambassadors for their country."
"It is a joy and an honor to tour with the brilliant young musicians of Carnegie Hall’s NYO Jazz," said Dianne Reeves. "What a wonderful opportunity to share ideas…and aspirations. I know I’ll be inspired and I hope to be a source of the same as we share this musical journey."
NYO Jazz fans in the United States and abroad are invited to follow the orchestra’s first journey through Europe on social media with photos, videos, and livestreams posted daily on facebook.com/NYOJazz.
Full details, including ticket information for each venue, are available online.