This summer, Carnegie Hall’s national youth jazz orchestra NYO Jazz-which showcases the legacy and bright future of American jazz-returns for its fifth year following performances at Carnegie Hall and successful international tours to Europe and Asia. The ensemble features 22 outstanding young American jazz musicians (ages 16-19) selected from across the United States who will come together for an extraordinary summer of music making, performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Thursday, July 28 at 8:00 p.m., before embarking on the group’s first-ever US tour from July 30-August 9. Acclaimed trumpeter Sean Jones returns to lead NYO Jazz in summer 2022, with Grammy Award-nominated jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn as special guest artist.
Immediately following the US tour kick-off concert at Carnegie Hall, NYO Jazz will perform in seven US cities under the direction of Sean Jones, joined by Horn.
The tour stops include:
Cleveland, OH on Saturday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. (Tri-C Metro Auditorium);
Chautauqua, NY on Monday, August 1 at 8:15 p.m. (Chautauqua Amphitheater);
Pittsburgh, PA on Tuesday, August 2 at 7:00 p.m. (The August Wilson African American Cultural Center);
Chicago, IL on Thursday, August 4 at 6:30 p.m. (Navy Pier, Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park); FREE
Detroit, MI on Friday, August 5 at 8:00 p.m. (Orchestra Hall, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center);
Madison, WI on Sunday, August 7 at 7:00 p.m. (Wisconsin Union Theater); FREE
Washington D.C. on Tuesday, August 9 at 7:30 p.m. (The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts).
This summer’s NYO Jazz concert in Detroit will be available for audiences worldwide via a webcast.
For NYO Jazz’s 2022 concerts, the ensemble will play a diverse program including a new Carnegie Hall-commissioned work, entitled “Single-Cell Jitterbug,” by Brooklyn-based composer and Secret Society bandleader Darcy James Argue; a new piece inspired by the life and work of activist Ida B. Wells by Detroit native and bassist Endea Owens; and a new arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner and Lift Every Voice and Sing” by John Clayton. The program will also include several songs from Jazzmeia Horn’s new Grammy Award-nominated album Dear Love and other contemporary pieces that explore jazz’s influence on hip-hop, R&B, and pop music, as well as big band classics by Bob Brookmeyer, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Mary Lou Williams.
NYO Jazz’s touring activities have been designed to allow America’s finest young musicians to share their artistry with audiences at home and abroad via webcast. As part of their travel schedule, NYO Jazz players will have the opportunity to collaborate with local musicians, continuing the cultural exchange and peer-to-peer activities that have become a hallmark of Carnegie Hall’s national youth ensembles. On August 9 in Washington D.C., NYO Jazz and musicians in the Jazz Ahead program at The Kennedy Center-which identifies outstanding, emerging jazz artist-composers ages 19-25 will engage in exchange activities and participate in a panel conversation led by Jason Moran, Artistic Director for Jazz at the Kennedy Center. The Tri-C JazzFest Academy’s Spirit of the Groove high school ensemble, led by Bandleader/trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, will open NYO Jazz’s concert program in Cleveland on July 30.
“We are thrilled that NYO Jazz will be making its first US tour in summer 2022,” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “The musicians who make up NYO Jazz’s 2022 roster are among the finest jazz players in the nation, passionate not only about music, but also dedicated to connecting with music lovers and young musicians across the US and around the globe. This summer promises to be a truly memorable summer of life-changing experiences through unparalleled training with esteemed jazz artists and extraordinary performances of America’s beloved art form”
“I’m very excited to perform with the amazing young musicians of Carnegie Hall’s NYO Jazz this summer,” said Jazzmeia Horn. “What a wonderful opportunity as this tour marks my first time playing an entire tour with a big band and I’m especially thrilled to sing selections from my new big band album, Dear Love. I’m curious to see how NYO Jazz will interpret my latest expression of love musically as we connect with audiences in cities around the US. This will be a fun journey to share with them!”
“I can’t wait to get out on the road with these brilliant young performers and present their excellence in eight different cities,” said Sean Jones, who leads NYO Jazz as its artistic director. “Their talent is far beyond their years, and it’s been an honor to watch them grow as they’ve remained steadfast through the entire process of this program. It’s going to be a great experience taking a band of this magnitude and finely-tuned skill on tour to present a wide variety of music.”
This summer marks the first time NYO Jazz will be able to perform at Carnegie Hall and tour since 2019. Although NYO Jazz was unable to travel during the past two years, the musicians convened virtually during the summer of 2020 and at Purchase College, just north of New York City, in summer 2021, rehearsing and recording a wide range of repertoire, including NYO Jazz’s debut album, We’re Still Here, which was released by Platoon on June 24, 2022.
For Press Listening Purposes Only: Click here for a private link to listen to the album.
NYO Jazz Album Trailer
NYO Jazz US Tour Summer 2022 Trailer
About NYO Jazz and Summer 2022 Artists
Each summer, NYO Jazz, led by artistic director Sean Jones, shines a spotlight on the depth of talent found among teen jazz players across the United States. The program offers talented young musicians, ages 16-19, the opportunity to perform as cultural ambassadors for their country, sharing a uniquely American musical genre with people around the world through an international tour. The members of NYO Jazz 2022-hailing from multiple regions of the country-have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest jazz musicians in the US, following a rigorous and highly competitive audition process.
In preparation for NYO Jazz’s Carnegie Hall concert and 2022 US tour, the group’s musicians will participate in an intensive training residency from July 16-27 on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY), located in Westchester County, just north of New York City, where they will undertake their initial training and rehearsals at the College’s highly regarded Performing Arts Center. The musicians will have the opportunity to play alongside talented peers and learn from the NYO Jazz faculty, comprised of world-class jazz masters, who will lead in-depth training workshops, master classes, and other seminars on essential music skills. Following its residency, each summer NYO Jazz performs at New York City’s Carnegie Hall with a celebrated guest artist before embarking on a tour to some of the world’s great music capitals. After its Carnegie Hall debut in 2018, the ensemble embarked on its first-ever international tour for performances with vocalist Dianne Reeves at prestigious concert halls and music festivals in London, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Kassel, and Berlin. In summer 2019, NYO Jazz made its debut tour to Asia, joined by vocalist Kurt Elling, including performances in Taichung, Beijing, Shanghai, Zhuhai, and Hong Kong. As part of their travel schedule, NYO Jazz musicians also have opportunities to meet and collaborate with young local musicians and experience the richness of different cultures and music.
In 2021, during NYO Jazz’s residency at Purchase College, SUNY, the band recorded its first full length studio album under the direction of artistic director and bandleader Sean Jones. It includes Carnegie Hall-commissioned works for the ensemble from each year of the program exploring themes including social justice, resilience, and the power of music to spark joy. NYO Jazz’s debut album, We’re Still Here, featuring Artistic Director and Bandleader/trumpeter Sean Jones and special guest Melissa Aldana on tenor saxophone, plus an appearance by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, was released June 24, 2022.
NYO Jazz builds on the success of the acclaimed National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and its sister ensemble for younger musicians NYO2-programs created by Carnegie Hall in 2013 and 2016, respectively-to bring together the finest young classical musicians from across the country each summer for training, performances and international touring. Each of these prestigious national programs-free to all participants-is dedicated to the proposition that talented young musicians thrive when they have the opportunity to expand their musical, social, and cultural horizons and share their artistry with audiences around the globe. Since 2013, Carnegie Hall’s national youth ensembles have performed in 15 countries on four continents, including tours to China, South Korea, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Russia, and across Europe.
Music and spirituality have always been intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator, and activist Sean Jones. Singing and performing as a child with the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio, he switched from drums to trumpet at the age of 10.
Mr. Jones is a musical chameleon, comfortable in any setting or genre. After a six-month stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis offered him a permanent position as lead trumpeter of the ensemble, a post he held from 2004 until 2010. In 2015, Mr. Jones was tapped to become a member of the SFJAZZ Collective. During this time, he managed to keep a core group of talented musicians together under his leadership, forming the foundation for groups that have produced and released eight recordings on Mack Avenue Records, the latest being Sean Jones: Live from Jazz at the Bistro in 2017.
Mr. Jones has been prominently featured in recordings and performances with many major figures in jazz, including Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Gerald Wilson, and Marcus Miller. He was selected by Mr. Miller, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter for their Tribute to Miles tour in 2011. He has also performed with the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Youngstown symphony orchestras, as well as Soulful Symphony in Baltimore and a chamber group at the Salt Bay Chamberfest. Mr. Jones is an internationally recognized educator. In addition to serving as artistic director of NYO Jazz, he is president of the Jazz Education Network and holds the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies at The John Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute in Baltimore. Previously, he served as chair of the brass department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Blessed with a fitting name-chosen by her jazz-loving, piano-playing grandmother-Jazzmeia Horn was born in Dallas in 1991 and grew up in a tightly knit, church-going family filled with musical talent. She attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, known for launching such musical greats as Roy Hargrove, Norah Jones, and Erykah Badu. She then attended The New School in New York City. Ms. Horn steered herself toward mentors who would guide her passion for jazz, including Bobby McFerrin, Abbey Lincoln, and Betty Carter. Winner of the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, she was signed to Concord Records and released her debut album, A Social Call, to great critical acclaim, including a Grammy Award nomination. In the years since Ms. Horn bowed with her first album, she’s been busy on the road, honing her vocal skills, writing songs with personal and social messages, and perfecting a fearless approach to improvisation and performance. She received her second Grammy nomination for Love and Liberation, a product of drive and deliberation filled with songs of daring musicality, emotional power, and relevant messages.
Ms. Horn’s first big-band recording effort, Dear Love, brims with the combination of her assured delivery and spoken world segments, deft arrangements, and fiery musical ideas. Garnering praise from critics and fans alike, Dear Love was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.
Learn more about NYO Jazz, visit carnegiehall.org/NYOJazz