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JazzSteps & Education

JazzSteps is committed to education about jazz in our locality, whether in schools, with our audiences at gigs or with other parts community. We enjoy links with the Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City Music Hubs as well as individual schools and local youth jazz bands (e.g. Nottingham Youth Jazz Orchestra & the Red Hot Band) plus community jazz bands (e.g. the Shipstone Street Jazz Orchestra & Jazz Workshop).

We seek to create opportunities for local gigs as part of our education work, such as mini-tours of Jazz in the Libraries. Also, JazzSteps supports the prestigious Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition (see below) where 12 young jazz pianists from around the world are judged on a range of solo jazz piano playing criteria.

JazzSteps worked extensively to organise a successful programme of jazz education over 18 months (to June 2014) as part of a funded wider Miles Ahead Jazz Education programme across the East Midlands.

We organise mentoring for young aspiring jazz musicians (e.g. Mark Lewandowski and Will Glaser who have returned from studies in London to gig in Nottingham). We provide free (or reduced-price) admission to JazzSteps gigs at the Bonington Theatre for youth jazz players (on application). Please see below for further details on specific initiatives and associations. Volunteers provide the input to make this happen and JazzSteps is always open to contact about ideas connected with Jazz education.

Read more about specific jazz education activities from JazzSteps...

JazzSteps Successful with the Miles Ahead Education Programme

JazzSteps was excited to be part of the hugely successful Miles Ahead Jazz Education programme which ran for 18 months (until June 2014) supported by Youth Music. In Nottingham & Nottinghamshire, JazzSTeps coordinated a range of workshops and sessions for young players (and their teachers) by top jazz performers including Julian Joseph, Zoe Rahman, Corey Mwamba and Jan Kopinski. A JazzSteps presentation (originally created for an EMJAZZ workshop) summarises the Project and has lots of links to great videos on YouTube of the project in action. Click here to view this. it. The official report on the programme is here . Our education project used "jazz as the basis for teaching music and life skills to young people."

emjazzmilesahead (34K)

Nottingham Youth Jazz Orchestra

Established in 2008, the Nottingham Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) meet for weekly rehearsals during education term time at the Becket School in Wilford, Nottingham. Experienced jazz tutors provide high quality, inspirational instruction and encourage shared learning and support amongst players. The band's terrific sound, enthusiasm and professional approach to performances have been highly rated by appreciative audiences (including those at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for several years), gig organisers and judges at national competitions. There's a development band NYJO2 (approx Grade 4+), the NYJO Big Band and the NYJO Jazz Combo 8-piece (both approx. Grade 6+).

JazzSteps has been a long-time supporter of NYJO: the NYJO Jazz Combo have performed with their patron Tony Kofi in the intervals at the Bonington Theatre gigs when Tony is in town. Also, the NYJO Big Band has performed several mini-tours as part of the Jazz in the Libraries programme co-organised with Nottinghamshire Libraries.

Red Hot Band

A youth jazz band, organised under Nottinghamshire County Council, the Red Hot Band rehearse regularly at the Minster School, Southwell. Players need to be grade 4 or above. Visit www.nottsmusichub.org.uk email: musichub@nottscc.gov.uk or call 0115 9773206. Jazzteps is pleased to support jazz education in association with the Red Hot Band. For instance Jan Kopinski ran jazz workshops with the Red Hot Band culminating in a gig at a summer event (Brilliance Festival) at Rufford Park and JazzSteps went on to book the Red Hot Band for a mini-tour - see video here of part of gig at West Bridgford Library in December 2014.

Shipstone Street Jazz Orchestra

The Shipstone Street Jazz Orchestra (SSJO) is a community big band that rehearse regularly and perform gigs locally, often with vocalist Sarah Simmonds. JazzSteps has booked the SSJO (in association with Nottinghamshire Libraries) for a short tour of gigs at Worksop, Southwell and West Brigford libraries. See the SSJO Facebook page at:


The SSJO say about themselves:"We are a big band playing songs and music from the 30s to the 70s. We're based at The Lion, Mosley Street, Basford, Nottingham, where we regularly provide the Sunday lunchtime jazz session, as well as appearing at other popular venues in Nottingham." Email: shipstonestreetjazz@outlook.com

Nottingham Jazz Workshops

This workshop meets for regular rehearsals and occasional performances. Instrumental players and vocalists interested in jazz rehearse with professional musicians as leaders and accompanists.

We have now moved all information about Nottingham Jazz Workshops here

Nottinghamshire Music Hub & Jazz Education in Notts Schools

JazzSteps is pleased to have worked with the Nottinghamshire Music Hub to co-ordinate jazz education sessions involving students and music tutors from several Nottinghamshire schools and academies. Sessions to date include: Vibes player Corey Mwamba working with music students at Arnold Hill Academy and pupils at from feeder primary schools, culminating in a performance at a summer carnival; PrestonGlasgowLowe trio giving a workshop at a Arnold Hill Academy (PGL also played a JazzSteps gig); Jan Kopinski running jazz workshops with the Red Hot Band culminating in a gig at a summer event (Brilliance Festival) at Rufford Park. (Jan's band Pinksi Zoo has also gigged at JazzSteps).

Nottingham Music Hub & Jazz Education in Nottingham City Schools

JazzSteps is pleased to have worked with the Nottingham Music Hub to co-ordinate jazz education sessions involving students and teachers from several Nottingham City schools and academies. Sessions to date include: Tony Kofi working with music students at a Saturday morning workshop, with Primary school pupils and with teachers; PrestonGlasgowLowe trio giving a workshop at a city academy (PGL also played a JazzSteps gig); Julian Joseph providing a master-class for young pianists.

JazzSteps and the Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition (NIJPC)

JazzSteps and EMJAZZ were proud to be amongst the sponsors of the Nottinghamshire International Jazz Piano Competition and committee member Carl Billson enjoyed being compere for the finals at the Albert Hall, Nottingham. Regretfully, this competition was ceased by its organisers Clement Pianos who as based in Nottingham. The NIJPC website remains in place and provides details of the competition for 2014 with links to videos of competition performances on YouTube. In supporting this great competition, 2014 JazzSteps hosted (2014) an inspirational pre-competition solo gig by NIJPC judge David Newton.

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