Southampton Youth Jazz Orchestra

Southampton Youth Jazz Orchestra

"Working with the young students of SYJO was a wonderful experience for me especially as my music has never been used in this way in this country. The evening's performance with the band was magical."
Prof Courtney Pine O.B.E / C.B.E
"We had a wonderful time performing with SYJO, it was a real pleasure to hear our music in this setting... really impressed by the standard of the band too.”
Adam Waldmann Kairos 4Tet
“You guys [SYJO] swing better than most American bands I hear! Maybe you should come over to the Lincoln Centre and show them some tricks!”
Chad Eby Jazz At The Lincoln Centre (New York)

Trombonist and Bari Sax player wanted!

Fancy playing with one of the best youth jazz groups in the UK? SYJO is currently looking for a trombonist and a baritone sax player to add to the current line-up for this year (2016).

There is no fee to be a member, you will meet some of the best young jazzers in the South of England and get to explore some really exciting music, much of it written especially for SYJO! On top of this you will get to play with leading professional jazz musicians. We have some great gigs in the diary including with pianist Julian Joseph in April.

You will need to be interested in jazz, have good reading skills and, most importantly, listen to jazz music. We’d love to hear from improvising musicians but if you haven’t tried improvising yet, don’t worry as this is something you can learn within the ensemble.

If you want to know more, please visit and get in contact via the website.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Montreux Jazz Festival 2015

The Swiss town of Montreux sits on the edge of Lake Geneva, surrounded by mountains and stunning picturesque views. Each year, this magical setting plays host to one of the best-known jazz festivals in the world featuring great artists. This year, for the second time, SYJO was also on the bill and performed two gigs at the Music In The Parc venue to large and enthusiastic audiences.

It is no secret that SYJO contains some of the best young jazz musicians in the country and they cemented this reputation with some blistering performances. In particular, the band’s arrangement of A Love Supreme by John Coltrane was extremely well received leading to offers of future concerts as far away as Japan!

The Montreux trip caps a hugely successful year for SYJO which has included performances with sax masters John Surman and Jean Toussaint, appearances on London Jazz Radio, an invite to the National Music for Youth festival and several of the band being offered prestigious places at leading Music Conservatoires to study jazz.

SYJO with Jean Toussaint - 16th June @ Talking Heads 8pm

On Tuesday 16th June, the award-winning SYJO will be playing at Talking Heads venue in Portswood with a true master, saxophonist Jean Toussaint. Toussaint’s CV reads like a who’s who of jazz, having played with Art Blakey, Wynton Marsalis and Horace Silver amongst others. 

SYJO & Jean will be exploring classic Blue Note Records tunes including compositions by Herbie Hancock and Horace Silver alongside an arrangement of the entire John Coltrane album “A Love Supreme”.

Tickets for Tuesday’s concert can be purchased on the door - £15 full/ £6 students. For more info please go to

8pm start

Trumpeter Needed!

SYJO are currently recruiting for a young trumpeter with an interest in jazz from the Southern region. This could be your chance to join a pioneering group and perform at major music festivals, including Montreux Jazz Festival, and with major jazz artists including ex-Jazz Messenger, Jean Toussaint. We rehearse on select Sundays throughout the year and there are no fees to join.

Interested? Get in touch with SYJO here:

Region Named Best for Youth Jazz in the UK

Southampton Music Hub and Hampshire Music Hub are celebrating winning a prestigious national award for their commitment to jazz education.

The Will Michael Award for Jazz Education is presented yearly by UK Jazz Services to recognize excellence and outstanding commitment to young jazz musicians. On Saturday (22nd Nov) at London’s Southbank Centre, a joint bid by Southampton and Hampshire Music Hubs fought off various other regional authorities to be named the best in the UK.

Provision for young jazzers in the region has reached an all-time high due to significant investment and a string of exciting initiatives. Alongside several outstanding youth jazz groups, including the nationally renowned Southampton Youth Jazz Orchestra (SYJO), young musicians have enjoyed participating in free jazz improvisation workshops, composition masterclasses and working alongside leading professionals including singer Ian Shaw.

There has also been a drive to help teach jazz more effectively with support for teachers and better links with experts from the University of Southampton and the Turner Sims Concert Hall.

All this has helped contribute to young musicians from the region achieving success on the national stage with ex-alumni now playing with prestigious acts such as Jamie Cullum, Portico Quartet and BBC Big Band.

Dan Mar-Molinero, Director of SYJO and bid coordinator, said “educators have been working hard to make sure there are opportunities available to all the extraordinary talent within the region. We are exceptionally proud that we have been recognised as a leading example for the rest of the UK”.

You can hear some of the talented young musicians perform at the Turner Sims on Feb 8th when SYJO will be joined by leading saxophonist and composer, John Surman at the Turner Sims. Tickets available from the box office 023 8059 5151.

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SYJO is part of the Southampton Music Hub - a network of local and national organisations that work collaboratively to provide a range of musical activity for all children and young people in Southampton.