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Did you know that we have a youth jazz programme here at Wiltshire Music Centre, which comprises Wiltshire Jazz Academy (WJA) and Wiltshire Youth Jazz Orchestra (WYJO)? Our head of Creative Learning, Cassie Tait, has just written an article all about it for Wiltshire Music Connect, to celebrate International Jazz Day. Here's an excerpt..

“Our jazz programme – which includes both Wiltshire Jazz Academy (WJA) and Wiltshire Youth Jazz Orchestra (WYJO) – is an essential progression route for aspiring young jazz musicians across the South West which includes Bristol, Swindon, Salisbury and further afield. We support young people aged 12 and upwards, from their first steps into jazz to starting out on their future musical careers.

So how does it work? Students from approximately grade 4+ standard can join Wiltshire Jazz Academy (WJA), our monthly Saturday ensemble, which gives them experience in jazz improvisation, ensemble skills and performance. It also equips them with the skills and confidence to join WYJO, our big band that works with leading jazz soloists and educators. Recent guests include Huw Warren, Nikki Iles and Jason Yarde. Our guest artists are not just exemplary musicians, but skilled educators and composers too, most often teaching at leading conservatoires.

WYJO gives young musicians the invaluable experience of rehearsing and performing with jazz professionals, being exposed to new perspectives and career paths, and to build connections for the future. Our recent Spring course featured Jason Rebello and Tim Garland, with challenging repertoire covering a range of skills, rhythmic demand and tight teamwork.

Many of our musicians have said that the opportunities we provide, both through our regular sessions and courses, are hard to find elsewhere, and that it has been a vital part of their jazz education. We are very proud to have played a part in the journey of nine members of WYJO now either studying, or preparing to study, jazz at Conservatoires across the UK, including Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Leeds College of Music, and Trinity College, London.”

Want to know more? Know a young player aged 12 – 18, interested in taking part? Please contact or visit this page.

Read the full article on here

Hello my name is Cath