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Project information

NYJC grass roots Boost Fund

NYJC has big ambitions to expand our reach from 150 to 500 musicians each year: giving opportunities to young people from any and every background. You can help make it happen.

Your donation will open the door for a gifted young jazz musician to flourish - no talent wasted or overlooked. Thank you!

October 2018 - September 2019

Charity information: The National Youth Jazz Collective

The National Youth Jazz Collective logo
  • Need


    The regional provision of jazz education has waned. Music hubs now tell us that only a small fraction (5% at most) host regular sessions for small ensemble players. With less statutory funding they now concentrate more on traditional musical forms. Worryingly jazz (at roots a 'music of the people') is becoming an ‘elite’ pursuit, where students from wealthier backgrounds develop skills through private music education but others find it hard to join in.


    We will establish an accessible programme of monthly workshops independent of (but where poss in collaboration with) local music services, offering education for improvisational jazz to young people aged 8 –18 from a broad range of backgrounds.

    These groups will learn the basics but also participate in innovations that fuse cross-cultural musical forms through new collaborations eg minority or emerging youth cultures (eg Asian, urban, Gospel) with emphasis on ensuring participation by females.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Taking workshops to up to 15 regions, helping 500 players a year & being self-sustaining by 2020.


    » Through partnerships with regional music providers we'll take the strain for them by administering the logistics and hiring top quality tutors.
    » We'll make sure that young people from all backgrounds then get the chance to develop innate skills by regualrplaying together, jamming & performing.

    What success will look like

    Recruit, retain and build skills and enthusiasm: measured through regular evaluation of attendence, attitude and skill development from students and tutors.

    Aim 2

    Overcoming barriers to young women playing jazz through programmes that encourage and empower them.


    » Creating and promoting a nationally recognised high quality all-female combo that write and perform their own material to an exceptional standard.
    » Hosting regular all-girl workshops and taster events that help overcome well-identified barriers to playing and performing common in younger females.

    What success will look like

    Numbers and skills development of young women participating in our activities coupled with measurable increase in confidence to partipate in combos of single or mix-sex players.

  • Impact


    We will identify and progress young players who would otherwise have had no chance to identify their aptitude for jazz, nor to grasp the myriad of skills that are developed as students learn to play jazz, and to become the next generation of great British jazz players and composers. We will monitor the number of those who have been supported from backgrounds that could never have had such an opportunity except for our sustained outreach and provision, including supporting their music teachers.


    Low numbers of students attending, events have little appeal for students.

    We will publicise through local schools, music services, jazz & big bands, jazz networks and cultural groups to draw a wide range of participants. We will engage well known jazz educators who will be coordinated by our own Artistic Director so that quality is high throughout, using well known venues that are accessible and popular in their localities. We will pay great attention to overcome barriers to participation.


    Our web site and Facebook site will profie the workshops on thet days they happen and at the end of the series we will video concerts for our YouTube channel and create a final report showing the make up of participants and the impacts we have had on them.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £43,347

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £16,800 Jazz workshop tutors Leading 6 workshops per year in seven regions of England
      £5,400 Rental space for venues Hosting 6 workshops per year in seven regions of England
      £480 Promotional costs recruiting participants
      £8,000 Student subsides and travel Supporting less advantaged students to participate in the series
      £12,667 In house costs and overheads Running central administration function fror partnerships and management of student participants

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Arts Council England £18,847 Guaranteed
    Parental Contributions £16,500 Conditional
  • Background


    Six regions of England with varying socio-economic and ethnic profiles. This year: London / Hampshire / South Essex / Bedfordshire / Bristol / South Yorkshire.

    Each area will attract players from up to 40 miles radius of the music centre (younger players tend to travel less far) and we network particiapnts online to show a sense of belonging to something bigger and national in profile.


    Young people interested in developing their playing, improvisation, composition and group work skills as musicians. Our work has also been shown to develop personal confidence and self-esteem, team work, and self-belief for young people discovereing and developing their musical gifts. We exposes young people to a new and diverse cohort of others which they might not normally encounter: building a new sense of commnuity and identity for those who are gifted and yet often isolated.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Uniquely NYJC focuses on small group improvisation (how most jazz professionals earn their living), supporting the creative and educational needs of the young jazz musician, within a pathway of progression from beginners to young professionals. This provision is increasingly under-resourced by regional music services.

    We have 10 years experience in this and a national reputation for excellence which has been recognised by the Arts Council who only fund organisations outstanding in their niche.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Issie Barratt

    Founder and Artistic Director: a multi- award winning, outstanding and inspirational performer composer/ band leader and jazz educationalist.

    Andy Thornton

    Executive Director: former CEO of the Citizenship Foundation, Founder of Giving Nation - a national campaign to get children giving when in school.

    Dave Holland

    President: international Jazz luminary Dave Holland (bass with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea), who joins the project each summer.

“Amazing. I’ve just loved playing with so many really enthusiastic people who have a love of jazz. ”

Sam Nichols - 15 year old drummer from Lancaster