Celebrating over a decade of Championing Young Jazz across Worcestershire

Best of Young Jazz is a music education project run by Upton Jazz Association. This highly successful project grew out of Upton Jazz Festival and has been running since 2009. It works across Worcestershire and with partners in neighbouring counties, with talented and aspiring young jazz musicians to develop their music making skills and offer them opportunities to perform in front of live audiences.

Key project aims are to: Educate, Celebrate, and Inspire young jazz musicians.
The project celebrates the talents of young musicians, and aims to nurture and support music making of the highest quality. Since the project began ten years ago, Best of Young Jazz has worked with around two and a half thousand young people, many of whom have performed to packed houses of people at Upton Jazz Festival and other events across the region.

Now celebrating ten years of championing Jazz with young people across Worcestershire, Best of Young Jazz has been able to provide an increasingly wide range of opportunities for young musicians and continues to develop all areas from the firm foundations cultivated by the project.

Best of Young Jazz provides:
Performance opportunities for young jazz musicians in a wide variety of settings.
Workshops for young musicians with professionals in and outside formal education with a focus on improvisation.

Opportunities for young singers to develop jazz vocal techniques.
Increased reach of the jazz genre by running dance projects, with a focus Jazz styles such as Lindy Hop Swing.

Opportunities for young musicians to visit and be inspired by other Jazz festivals and events.
Master-class weekends for the most advanced young jazz musicians.
More work with schools including resident musicians and professional development training for music teachers.

Writing and composition workshops.
A broader base and presence across the county and beyond, through increased networking and partnerships.

Best of Young Jazz has been managed by Steve Boffy, assisted by Marie Oldaker and supported during the festival by Pete Johnson. After 10 years, our team steps down at the end of March 2020. ….What next ?

We are proud to have developed strong partnerships with other organisations in support of our increased programme activity. Some of these partners include Upton Jazz Association, Severn Arts, Kidderminster College, Dudley Performing Arts, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Worcestershire Music Hub, Herefordshire Music Service. Alongside our wonderful regular and specialist-project funders, these essential partnerships ensure our integrity and continued development as a small project.
Thank you all for your continued confidence, enthusiasm and financial support for the work that BoYJ undertakes – for giving us the capacity to see our vision come to life and nurture its development.

Some of our funders and in-kind supporters this year have included: The Elmley Foundation, The Bransford Family Trust, Severn Arts, The Perry Family Charitable Trust, University of Worcester, Kidderminster College, Sunshine Music Festival, Mello, Freeman Technology, The David Morgan Trust, Malvern Hills D.C. and Upton Jazz Festival.

A HUGE THANK YOU to all our wonderfully talented young musicians (& their mentors) and to Steve and Marie for their commitment and inspiration.