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 beyond) with talented young jazz musicians to develop their music making skills and offer them opportunities to perform in front of live audiences.

The 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, Best of Young Jazz has worked with over 2000 young people who have performed to many thousands of people at the Upton Jazz Festival and many other events in the region.

In the past two years (2015 – 2017)  the Best of Young Jazz ‘TIME TO SHINE’ project provided

  • Performance opportunities for young jazz musicians, with professional musicians
  • Development of the vocal jazz aspects of the project
  • ‘Jazz dance’ activities e.g. working with Jiving Lindy Hoppers
  • Opportunities for young musicians to visit Jazz festivals and music events
  • Master-class weekends for the most advanced young musicians
  • Work with schools including resident musicians and CPD training for music teachers.
  • Opportunities to work in a recording studio and record new work
  • Writing and composition workshops

Best of Young Jazz is ably and energetically led by Steve Boffy with support from Marie Oldaker and Manda Graham. Peter Johnson and Matt Hadden have ‘graduated’ from BOYJ to join the team.

To deliver this ambitious project, the team have recruited many new partners, including Birmingham Conservatoire, and Severn Arts (previously Worcestershire Youth Music). The Best of Young Jazz team have successfully raised new funding from a number of sources including Arts Council England, The Elmley Foundation, The Bransford Family Trust, Worcestershire County Council and The David Morgan Trust. Thank you all. They continue to raise funds for this ambitious project and are always actively seeking support and sponsorship.

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