From John Ellis MBE 14/2/2012
Andy Cato, alumnus of the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association, now with ‘Groove Armada’, heard of DYJA’s plight last year and set about saving it! He felt so strongly successive generations of the best UK musicians”. Andy contacted DYJA last September and raised awareness, resulting in a donation of £5000 from Simon Moran of SJM Concerts, and £15,000 from a party fundraising event in Ibiza on 22nd October 2011. He then put on an amazing event at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London on 28th January 2012 – one night – which raised £22,285! This has brought his grand total raised to £42,285.This almost replaces Doncaster Council’s annual grant (2002 until March 2011). This was reduced by 35% for this financial year 2011-12, and will be cut completely from March 2012. We have been enormously grateful for the support received from Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council over the past 9 years, and we understand and recognise the need for cuts. So – thank heavens for alumni!
28th January 2012 at Ronnie Scott’s was a memorable night for everyone – a superb line-up of talent. Former members of this Association formed the impressive DYJA Alumni Octet:
They played a straight-ahead jazz set of standards and Latin fusion items to a packed room – John Ellis said “I was delighted with the upstairs jazz bar performance from our guys: jazz of the highest quality… and then some. Obviously it was an emotional occasion for yours truly. Andy Cato joined us there, explained to the large and responsive audience what was happening, and then he introduced the above musicians, plus several other former DYJA members in the audience who now live and work in London. It was so good to see them all together. Another surprise came a little later in the evening when a former pupil of mine (Jonathan ‘Stan’ White of Conisbrough) joined ‘Groove Armada’ on-stage to play bass for their set. That was another ‘magic moment’ on one of the most extraordinary nights in my working life with this Association!”
‘Groove Armada’ were joined by Neneh Cherry, and she was amazing – Andy Cato said she gave the night a “sprinkling of stardust”. Also Saint Saviour was well-received by the large and enthusiastic crowd.
John Ellis described the event as “the most extraordinary of nights. A wonderful Party Marathon which seemed to run smoothly from one music genre to the other without ease. The large enthusiastic participating audience created a special atmosphere in the club. So many of them took the time to talk to us and were incredibly supportive throughout this superb event. It was also outstandingly successful in terms of funds raised for the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association. I am so appreciative of all the artists involved, who gave freely on their time and expertise in support of our jazz education programme. We are now in a better position to plan, to develop and to seek additional sustainable funding from other sources”.
“Our hardworking team of volunteer workers and teachers are absolutely elated. We cannot thank Andy Cato enough, and we have great memories of a fantastic night at Ronnie Scott’s – which will be remembered for a long time to come!”
“I am delighted to report that we are good for another year at least… and I’m quite optimistic about next year too. Much will ‘happen’ in 2013…including the opening of the New Performance Venue at the heart of the new Cultural Quarter… and the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association (1973-2013) will surely look for ways to celebrate 40 years of jazz and modern music education in the Doncaster region.
Doncaster Youth Jazz Association website: www.dyja.info
Recognising who made exceptional contributions to our jazz scene in 2011-12. facebook group Jazz Yorkshire Awards.
An intensive, one-day big band workshop for young musicians aged between 12 - 18 playing Big Band jazz jazzyorkshire.org/jazzjamboree
Mentoring and professional career development for jazz musicians in the early part of their career. jazzyorkshire.org/futures
Listen to a selection of tracks recorded by musicians who have taken part in our 'Demo in a Day' scheme. jazzyorkshire.org/demo
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