About the Association

The internationally acclaimed Doncaster Youth Jazz Association (DYJA) was formed in 1973 by John Ellis MBE.

Passionate about music education and jazz, DYJA provides specialised individual tuition, instrumental masterclasses, ensemble workshops and performance opportunities via 3 ensembles for young musicians from a range of backgrounds and abilities.

Our 4th Alumni ensemble consists of mainly professional DYJA graduate musicians.

Since inception the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra (DYJO) has received numerous Outstanding Performance awards at the National Festival of Music for Youth, the National Jazz Festival in Birmingham, and the Great North Big Band Festival.

We were also voted the BBC Radio Big Band of the Year.

DYJO have performed a record 18 times at the Royal Albert Hall, at the United Nations in New York, Buckingham Palace, Ronnie Scott’s, the House of Commons and the Royal Festival Hall to name but a few.

We have also represented Europe at the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators Conference) in New York and New Orleans. We have also built relationships abroad with musical partners in France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Russia and the USA.

Our teachers are all fully qualified professional musicians with a passion for educating young people.

All our staff and Chaperones are DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) assessed to work with young people.

Our students learn at the Doncaster Jazz Centre.

This building provides a base for the organisation with office space from which we co-ordinate our activities, a music library, small group rehearsal and teaching rooms, and a converted main hall for full band rehearsals.

DYJA is managed by an Executive Board including pro-active parents, musicians, public and private sector professionals. DYJA is a Charity Limited by Guarantee.

“An excellent album of big band jazz performed by a band which has few – if any- equals on either side of the Atlantic.”

-Stan Woolley. Jazz Journal. 2000

Our Music

The DYJA ensembles have recorded in excess of 15 albums, 4 of which are available to purchase.  DYJA are proud to be able to offer this unique opportunity and facility to those who play with us.  The recording of the ensembles has always been considered important for educational and reappraisal purposes.  Playing to the ‘red light’ is a special discipline where pace and stamina becomes as important as musical talent.

From the iconic Studio 2 Abbey Road studios with the support of Alumni members and under the expert guidance of Chris Dibble (an honorary DYJA patron and recording engineer) to our Beckett Road location, our musicians produced wonderfully consistent and technical masterpieces which are well received by the jazz world and are now available to buy.

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