Photo: Leslie East (Musician’s Company) and Peter Martin (GJL Director)
Our County Jazz Centre, Gloucestershire Jazz Live, continues to go from strength to strength with their talented youth and adult musicians picking up many awards and performing around the Country. Here Peter Martin (GJL Director) looks back over another successful year…
Gloucestershire Jazz Live [GJL], our County Jazz Centre for youth and adult musicians, has recently gained a third consecutive Will Michael Jazz Education Award and Diploma for their outstanding commitment and provision from 2016-17. Whilst we are already amidst our 2017-18 season, GJL has seen a very successful development as a highly reputable jazz centre for our keen county jazz musicians and we are very proud of this fourth award of recent years.
The 2016-17 academic year saw an impressive number of performance opportunities for members of all our youth groups, Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Academy (GYJA) and Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra (GYJO) and our adult group Jazz2Go. Highlights of the year were performing at the National Concert Band Festivals, Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Music for Youth Regional and National Festivals, Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Upton Jazz Festival, as well as gigs for the Queen’s 90th birthday, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Stroud Jazz Weekend, our GJL concerts as well as a youth tour to Paris, all of which proved to mark a ground-breaking year for our members and tutors.
Our first collaboration with another county group, the Oxfordshire Youth Big Band (OYBB), also proved as a new and exciting opportunity for our youth musicians, which featured a world premiere double big band piece “Bayard’s Juke Joint” composed by Oxfordshire musician Nick Blake. Showcasing several student arrangements and compositions throughout the year similarly promoted the incredible talent we have in the county, many of whom who have taken music as a course of study in further education.
The report on our award also acknowledged the new inclusion of improvisation workshops and useful teaching and learning resources for schools, county musicians and classroom teachers. Working with internationally renowned trumpeter, composer and arranger Guy Barker was also a very memorable experience at Cheltenham Jazz Festival for everyone involved. 2016-17 also saw GJL’s first ever online video submissions of each group to the International Jazz Day Archives, where one performance was also selected as one of their highlights from around the world.
I attended the presentation evening on Wednesday 22 November 2017 at Trinity Laban Conservatoire (London) to collect this recent award. Supported by the Musician’s Company who have been supporting and promoting excellence in music since the Middle Ages, this once again proved a key annual event to meet and share ideas with other tutors and hubs across the Country and hear leading jazz ensembles. The Trinity Laban Contemporary Jazz Ensemble certainly delivered an impressive set for the evening.
We are very hopeful that 2017-18 will prove to be another very successful and enjoyable year for everyone involved at Gloucestershire Jazz Live. We kindly thank the Will Michael awards panel and Musician’s Company for this national recognition.
Peter Martin, GJL Director.