The sensational debut of NYO Jazz with vocalist Dianne Reeves at Young Euro Classic 2018 will still be remembered vividly by many in the audience – despite the fact that it had only just been founded: in the summer of 2018, the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City first implemented its plan of bringing together twenty outstanding young jazz musicians aged 16 to 19 from all over the USA to form NYO Jazz, America’s national jazz youth orchestra. Every summer, an intense two-week rehearsal phase is followed by a concert at Carnegie Hall as well as a tour. In 2018, NYO Jazz appeared not only in Berlin, but also in the Netherlands and Great Britain; in 2019, Asia followed, where the ensemble became the first jazz orchestra to appear at the National Center of the Performing Arts in Beijing. After the National Youth Orchestra of the USA (NYO-USA) and NYO2, another offshoot of NYO-USA, NYO Jazz is the third ensemble founded by Carnegie Hall in recent years in order to give young, highly talented musicians intense encouragement and support on their way to professional careers or other life pursuits in music.
Music and spirituality have always overlapped in the artistic vision of the trumpet player, composer, pedagogue and activist Sean Jones. Born in 1978 in Warren, Ohio, it was Miles Davis who inspired him to switch from percussion to trumpet. Only when he was 19 and already a classically trained trumpet player did he start turning increasingly to jazz. A six-month stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York brought him an encounter with Wynton Marsalis, who offered Jones the position of lead trumpeter in his orchestra. Ever since, he has performed with his own ensembles, but also with great jazz personalities such as Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves and Marcus Miller. Together with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, he played a Tribute to Miles tour in 2011. A versatile and experienced teacher as well, Jones holds the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. His most recent albums are im*pro*vise: never before seen (2014) and Live From Jazz At The Bistro (2017).
Dee Dee Bridgewater is undoubtedly one of jazz’ world stars. Even beyond her 70th birthday, the American singer shows no signs of allowing her more than successful career to gently fade. Over the past four decades, the legendary vocalist has crossed musical bridges between different genres, shining in jazz standards as well as songs by Kurt Weill, which were featured on her albums This is new (2002) and J’ai deux amours (2005). Dee Dee Bridgewater has won no less than three Grammy awards, the first two of them a double accolade for her tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dear Ella (1997), then another for the album Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee (2010). Dee Dee Bridgewater has also pursued a career as a musical singer; as early as 1975 she won a Tony Award for her role in The Wiz. She has also appeared in productions such as Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad, Carmen and Cabaret, and played Billie Holiday in the Off-Broadway production Lady Day.
About the concert
The incredibly talented young American jazz musicians of NYO Jazz gave impressive proof of their abilities at Young Euro Classic in 2018 during their festival debut. Under the leadership of Sean Jones, an Ohio-born world-class jazz trumpeter, the musicians perform new arrangements of songs by Carla Bley and Noriko Ueda as well as big band classics by Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Roy Hargrove, among others. Sean Jones himself has written, The 29ers, a new work for the big band, commissioned by Carnegie Hall. Every year, NYO Jazz brings together the best teenage jazz musicians of the USA, letting them groove and swing – good luck trying to sit quietly. Their appearance is crowned by the triple Grammy winner Dee Dee Bridgewater! Need we say more?
The concert will be recorded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and broadcast nationwide on 10 AUG, 20:03, in the programme “Konzert”– in the Dlf Audiothek app, via FM and DAB+.