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Summer MusicFest in Shetland with NYJOS Collective

by Deborah Leggate -

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland returns to Shetland fresh from its 20th anniversary, sold out summer tour. From 23rd August a select group of players will take up residency on 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 the 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.

The Shetlanders 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.

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. Each evening will be kicked off by a local band and then the floor will be open to all.

Venue and ticketing details will be released later this week.

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