Klara's story - from shy nine-year-old to future jazz musician

Klara’s story 

"I first came to National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) four years ago, on the 19th September", says Klara. "I remember the date because it was my 9th birthday! I was so shy and never thought I'd have the courage to improvise in front of others, let alone want to.

"When I started, we had to learn tunes by ear. I would never have been able to do this without the support from NYJO. Everyone is so kind and helpful - always taking time to show me how tunes should be played.  

"I'm so happy to be part of NYJO, not just because they've helped me to play jazz and improved my playing, but also because of the friends I've made there. 

"I love playing jazz as much as possible and will take part in anything (inside and outside of NYJO) unless it's on a Saturday as Saturday is my NYJO day! I think without NYJO I would never have found my passion for jazz.

"When I grow up, I want to be a jazz musician!"

Levelling the playing field in jazz education

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) is a charity whose mission is to promote jazz as an exciting, engaging and inspirational art form through world-class performances and education work. The fastest-growing area of NYJO’s work is their national education programme.

While some areas are well-served by opportunities to learn jazz, in others it can be more difficult for young potential jazz musicians to progress. NYJO is working hard to change that, and their battle-cry is ‘Levelling the playing field in jazz education’.  

The importance of gifts in Wills

NYJO playing jazz at a concert

Jazz provides a sense of joy and collaboration, and is particularly good at encouraging creativity, confidence, leadership, and social skills. Gifts in Wills are vital for National Youth Jazz Orchestra to continue giving more young people the opportunity to benefit from learning jazz.

NYJO recently received a legacy bequeathed by the late Reginald Handley. Mr Handley was a life-long lover of jazz, and chose to remember NYJO in this wonderful way: “With NYJO, it was an obvious choice. We wanted to link back to Reginald’s love of jazz. He wanted to ensure that young people could benefit from the great work NYJO does. It’s wonderful he could support the organisation in this way.” Tony Lintott, executor of Reginald Handley’s Will

Find out more

Thinking about leaving a gift in your Will to the National Youth Jazz Orchestra? Find out more here If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone, please call NYJO on 020 7494 1733 or email info@nyjo.org.uk

Follow National Youth Jazz Orchestra on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates on their work.

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