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The Youth Jazz Orchestra of North Rhine Westphalia



Biography

The YouthJazzOrchestra of North Rhine Westphalia (YJO NRW) has been inexistence since 1975. North Rhine Westphalia was the first Federal State to establish and support a Youth Jazz Orchestra, with much help from the former State President Johannes Rau. Many ex-members of this ensemble have played, or are still playing, in well-established music formations, notably the WDR- and NDR-Big Bands.

The Orchestra has made a name for itself by performing extraordinary and innovative concerts. This can especially be said of the work done in combination with Classical Orchestras.

As part of its duties representing the State of North Rhine Westphalia, the YJO NRW has given many concerts around the world. Journeys undertaken thus far, include tours to the former Soviet Union, the Caribbean, Australia, and also India. In May 1996, the Orchestra had an outstandingly successful tour of China, with every venue being sold out. The YJO NRW was the first Youth Orchestra to tour "The Land of the rising Sun". In 1998 and 2009, the Band returned to China for two more successful tours.

In spring 2000, the Ensemble celebrated its 25th anniversary, and together with Paul Kuhn, and Klaus Doldinger, two famous members of the German jazz scene, and also some members from the WDR-Big Band, gave a series of sold out concerts. The host for these concerts was the well known author and critic Roger Willemsen. Venues played included the Cologne Philharmonic, and the “Tonhalle Düsseldorf”.

In April 2001, the Band toured Belarus, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tschernobyl disaster. The leaders of the YJO NRW composed a suite for Symphony Orchestra and Big Band, and this had its premier in Minsk, with the Minsk Philharmonic Orchestra.

Following an invitation from the Goethe Institute, the Ensemble undertook tours of South Korea, and Morocco in 2003. The next summer, 2004, the Orchestra went to seven Middle American countries, and in 2005 and 2006, travelled to Greece and Estonia. 2007 saw the Orchestra touring South East Asia.

In 2008 the Orchestra went to Malta and Israel.

Autumn of 2010, the YJO NRW celebrated its 35th anniversary with concerts in the Philharmonic Essen, and the “Konzerthaus Dortmund”. Special guests at these concerts were the Cuban saxophone player Paquito d'Rivera, the famous actress and singer Katja Riemann, and the pianist from the WDR-Big Band Frank Chastenier. In the same year, the Band won first prize in the National Competition for Youth Ensembles, this being the second time, after also
winning in 2006. More concert tours took place in Senegal , in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

The Orchestra has been awarded the “WDR-Jazz Prize 2013”, for Ensembles in North Rhine Westphalia.

The YJO NRW is sponsored by the Government of The State of North Rhine Westphalia represented and supported by
“Verein zur Förderung junger Jazzmusiker in NRW e.V.”

(The Association for the Benefit of Young Jazz Musicians in NRW)
For more information see: www.jjonrw.de

Upcoming Performances

Video 2/22/2019: The Youth Jazz Orchestra of North Rhine Westphalia (YJO NRW)

The Youth Jazz Orchestra of North Rhine Westphalia (YJO NRW) has been in existence since 1975. North Rhine Westphalia was the first federal state to establish and support a youth jazz orchestra, with much help from the former State President Johannes Rau. Many ex-members of this ensemble have played, or are still playing, in well-established music formations, notably the WDR- and NDR-Big Bands. YJONRW joins George Mason University Choir to present Sacred Concert—Da Pacem.

Presented in collaboration with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Youth-Jazz-Orchestra-of-North-Rhine-Westphalia