SSLP Big Band Jazz Day

Date of past event:

20th June 2017


Led by Mark Armstrong, Artistic Director of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra
Jazz Professor at the Royal College of Music with members of the NYJO rhythm section

On Tuesday 22 June 2017, 23 students from JAGS, Kingsdale, Dulwich College, St Michael’s College and Alleyn’s supported by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra rhythm section became the SSLP Big Band for the day.

Meeting Mark Armstrong (Artistic Director of NYJO and Jazz Professor at the Royal College of Music) at 9.30am in the JAGS Music School, they worked initially by ear, honing their skills: learning how to play ‘in the groove’, how jazz harmony works, how voicings work in a Big Band and improving their improvisation, all the while putting together a version of ‘The Blues Walk’. In later sessions, the group moved on to notated music (Lil’ Darlin’ and Autumn Leaves) to apply their new skills to reading.

A short concert at 4.30pm in the Holst Hall enjoyed by parents, staff and siblings showed the results of the day: the sheer energy produced by the Band never dipped; the enthusiasm and passion of the students was clear and there was some very fine playing, both solo and ensemble.

Thanks must go to Mark and the NYJO players who delivered an inspiring and high quality experience for all involved.