The Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra comprises the best of Devon’s young jazz musicians and is split into two separate bands. DYJO2, under the direction of Brian Moore, is the younger of the two bands, and is focused on the essentials of big band playing: ensemble skills in swing and many other grooves, and the fundamentals of jazz soloing. DYJO1, with Graham Hutton, is the senior band, and aims to stretch the players’ skills in all directions in a wide range of repertoire, and to raise them to a standard of playing comparable with the best youth big bands in the country.
The season comprises
- Eight intensive ‘Gathering Days’ in Exeter, 10am to 4.30pm, where the three tutors aim to stretch all players, and prepare them for exciting public concerts.
- A three-day residential in the October half term, at the wonderful Heatree House in Dartmoor
- Public concerts throughout the season, starting with the annual appearance at the Teignmouth Jazz Festival in November with an international jazz soloist
In addition, the Jazz Ambassadors (comprising the best soloists from both DYJO1 and DYJO2) perform and lead workshops in Devon schools, part of DYJO’s ‘Devon Jazz Explosion’ programme.
In recent years not only has DYJO’s educational work received consecutive Diplomas and Special Diplomas for Jazz Education from Jazz Services Ltd and the Federation of Music Services, but DYJO1 has twice appeared in the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham, and in 2008 was selected to perform in the prestigious Schools Prom in the Royal Albert Hall in London.