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The National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland returns to Shetland fresh from its 20th anniversary, sold out summer tour for a Summer MusicFest at the Lerwick Town Hall and the Shetland Museum and Archives. Tickets for this event are now on sale via Shetland Box Office, Islesburgh Community Centre, 01595 745 555, or online.

From 23rd August a select group of players will take up residency in Shetland for 4 days as part of a Summer MusicFest.  This festival of music follows on from earlier workshops held in Shetland in June 2012 and will comprise 2 further workshops, open jam sessions and jazz club style performances each evening, culminating in two live performances on Saturday & Sunday 25th & 26th August.

The NYJOS summer tour received rave reviews as the orchestra played sold out shows in Stirling, Aberdeen, Inverness and Skye.  Thanks to generous funding from Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI), Artistic Directors Malcolm Edmonstone and Andrew Bain will be leading free workshops open to local high school students from all musical backgrounds.  The pupils will have the chance to work with and play alongside pre-professional musicians from the NYJOS Collective ensemble including two previous winners of the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year, Ru Pattison (Sax) and Andrew Robb (Bass).  They will also be joined by Mairi Chaimbeul (Clarsach) and selected string players from the main NYOS symphony orchestra, including fiddler Maggie Adamson.

NYJOS Collective provides performance opportunities for students on the cusp of their career as professional musicians. It is a small and flexible ensemble of around 12–15 players who have taken part in concert tours throughout Scotland, residencies with other bands and recording sessions.

Moving beyond traditional ensemble roles, all musicians will improvise and perform unique, daring repertoire without a conductor. The aim is to break down the traditional barriers between improvised and written music, inviting each participant to move beyond their comfort zone in order to inform and broaden their musical experience. This is a cutting edge ensemble and a clear sign NYOS is looking to the future, continuing to promote excellence in music education within a constantly evolving mainstream.

Shetland audiences are in for a treat! Malcolm and Andrew successfully directed and recorded this style of cross genre collaboration back in 2011, with captivating results.  Opportunities to hear and see these unique performances live will be on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August with concerts performed from 8pm onwards in Lerwick Town Hall.

Over and above the formal, planned live performances we would like to take this opportunity invite local musicians of any age and from all backgrounds to come along and join us each evening from 23rd August to get involved, as we host informal jam sessions in the Shetland Museum and Archives.  Each evening will be kicked off by a local band and then the floor will be open to all.

Tickets can be purchased from Shetland Box Office, Islesburgh Community Centre, 01595 745 555,

The schedule below may change slightly in terms of the musicians involved and the types of collaborative work occurring, but the planned dates for rehearsals, jam sessions and concerts are as follows:

Thurs 23 & Fri 24 Aug

11.00 - 13.00: 2 concurrent music workshops for local students in the Lerwick Town Hall. One aimed at beginners with main focus on improvising and the other aimed at more advanced players, led by Malcolm and Andrew and supported by senior NYJOS students.

14.00 - 18.00: ensemble rehearsals led by Malcolm and Andrew for all NYOS students in the Lerwick Town Hall.

Evenings - informal jam sessions open to all, with a mix of organised trad and jazz ensembles. This will take place in the Shetland Museum and Archives.

Sat 25 & Sun 26 Aug

Further ensemble rehearsals (with open rehearsals in the afternoon), with a public performance each evening followed by a jam in the Lerwick Town Hall. In addition to our own ensembles performing, we are hopeful that the students involved in the earlier workshops will be able to perform with us on the Sunday evening.


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