Our new EP, “Feeling Good” launches tomorrow night at our joint concert “Swing on a Summer’s Evening”. Following on from Doncaster Youth Jazz Association’s successful exchange tour in Germany in 2015 many people suggested we record our current young musicians alongside our talented vocallists, Max and Ruth. Perhaps the fact that they were only 17 and 15 when this EP was put together should make the impact of listening to this EP more memorable. It seems fitting that this EP launches when it does and will be out on sale at our CAST performance on Friday 1st July (Swing on a Summers Evening) with our Herten friends from the Erich Klausener Schule (EKS). After all it was through this exchange relationship and on our 2015 trip that we were inspired to put this together. Having to date, mostly recorded instrumental pieces this EP is a nod to posterity as it not only celebrates the enormous talent of our young musicians but commemorates the 2015 relaunch of the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra (DYJO) under the very capable hands of Dennis Rollins (DYJA Alum) our new Associate Director. We hope you enjoy listening. John Ellis MBE
The Herten and Doncaster exchange season is almost upon us! Here at HQ we are all busy with getting the upcoming Doncaster/ Herten 22nd Year exchange ready and underway. This is one of the few times in the year where many different social, educational, and musical strands come together in a week long community of exchange activities. There are those amusing phone calls and emails between countries where language barriers are laughed off and replaced with excitement that another exchange is happening, concerts in over 5 schools where a new wave of young students get inspired and have the chance to listen to Big Band swing, jazz and rock music, street performances in York and Doncaster, Ceilidhs, party nights, a large scale professional performance concert at CAST, and exchange students living with Doncaster Swing, Stage and Jazz Orchestra host families… All in the space of 7 days starting from Sunday 26th June.
Doncaster Youth Jazz Association has been responsible for exchange related activities for over 30 years between countries in Europe and Doncaster. Following highly successful performances at the Montreaux and Nice Jazz Festivals in 1979/80, ADDIM Rhône (a regional French council) contacted John Ellis MBE to encourage a new partnership. The exchange programme was launched and annual trips to the Rhône based region of France was the beginning of exchanges across Europe. Every year saw a different town financed by the French ministry of Culture. Then came Germany, Poland, and eventually the US. “All concerts” says John were a series of “animation” (French for entertainment) concerts in schools with public evening concerts in major town venues.” The format of these exchanges form the foundation of the exchange programmes we run today. They encompass all of the community. Music is an international language that communicates to all audiences through the pleasure of performance whether you are young or old.”
Hundreds of Doncaster residents will get the chance to hear the EKS Herten Big Band play across the week. If you have the time to join us why not stop by for a range of free and paid for events including Sandall Park on Sunday 26th June from 2pm where they will be accompanied by the Doncaster Concert Band, York town centre on Parliament Street on Wednesday 29th June from 10:30am, or on the 1st July where they will be accompanied by bands from Doncaster Youth Jazz Association at the CAST theatre. Tickets available on the CAST website…And should your children be fortunate enough to hear them play at one of the special school assemblies across the Doncaster borough do make sure to ask them about it! After all, many of our greatest towns’ musicians all started by attending these exchanges.