|Nigel Tully welcoming Prince Edward to Ronnie Scott's,|
Jon Carvell of NYJO looking on
Photo credit: Carl Hyde
Yesterday's launch of the annual residency of the main NYJO band at Ronnie Scott's had a special guest. The orchestra welcomed its new royal patron HRH Prince Edward in his official capacity as their royal patron. The Jazz Development Trust used to have HRH Prince Philip as its royal patron, the royal family have been unofficially at jazz events... but this is believed to be the first occasion in revent years on which a royal has attended a jazz event in an official capacity.
The welcome was done by NYJO's executive chairman Nigel Tully who also welcomed Lord (Sebastian) Coe (Honorary Vice President of NYJO) and his wife Carole, and a host of active contributors, chair sponsors, current and former NYJO members. There were speeches by drummer Ben Appiah from the band Triforce, currently on the jazz course of Middlesex University, who spoke of the huge difference NYJO has made in his life, and by Cath Sewell of Lancashire Music Service who talked about the impact on teenagers of a recent visit by NYJO ambassadors to Carlisle, deftly translating their positive appraisals out of teenage-speak. Music Director Mark Armstrong eloquently stressed the role NYJO that can have in "maintaining and nurturing a community spirit, and talked about the programme which was due to present premieres of new commissions from members of the orchestra as well as items from the jazz canon and pieces from NYJO's extensive music library.
With its recent highly successful visit to Italy, and the three-way collaboration with similar organizations in Germany and the Netherlands, NYJO has clearly shrugged off the problems it faced 5-6 years ago and is in a strong positive phase.