Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra (LYJRO) was first formed in 1991 by ArtForms Leeds to introduce young musicians to the genre of jazz. The band covers an array of styles from jazz to rock, whilst encompassing further influences from soul and funk.
LYJRO aims to give young people the chance to perform in a professional setting whilst learning how to be confident musicians, in both their reading and improvisation abilities. For many instrumentalists, it acts as a springboard to higher education in music. For others, it complements other areas of study and forms a basis for a lifelong enjoyment of jazz music.
As jazz enthusiasts, we feel compelled to spread our love of music, far and wide. We’ve found that those with least access to traditional jazz instruments are most receptive to its free spirit and visceral effect. When on tour in South Africa, we worked with the young audience on an individual level, allowing us to understand their natural love of music and how it is so prevalent in their everyday lives. Closer to home, we are active in many outreach schemes in the Leeds area to bring jazz music to all corners of the city. As part of this long-term goal, we often perform at schools with lower music participation levels and city-wide art festivals. As well as charitable and educational events, we perform at private functions which contributes to the band’s funding.
The band consists of an array of instruments such as trumpets, saxophones, rhythm section instruments and more. Most members play at a grade 5 standard or above and have experience with, or a passion for jazz music. You don’t have to audition to join this group, but we usually ask applicants to attend a trial rehearsal to see if it is right for them before joining.
Conductors: Matt Jackson and Ralph Tong
Since 2007, LYJRO have been working in conjunction with a number of schools in Durban, South Africa. Find out more about this exciting project.
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