Doncaster Youth Jazz Association

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Snake Davis Saxophone Masterclass – FREE – PLACES LIMITED!

Join us for the first DYJA Masterclass of the new Autumn term and season.  Free to students interested in learning top tips and techniques from one of the country’s most inspiring Saxophone musician and tutor.  Places are very limited on this workshop.  To find out more and to register an interest please contact the DYJA office on 01302 320002 or via email on You must be able to play to a Grade 4 standard and above but we welcome any new musicians that would like to watch the session for inspiration!

With thanks to Richard and Ann Bell, Friends of DYJA who have made this workshop possible!

Snake Davis Biog

Snake Davis is one of the music world’s best kept secrets.  He is a saxophonist of almost unparalleled gifts who has played with the best in the business through a career spanning three decades. Yet it wasn’t until he reached the age of 20 that he picked up his first saxophone. He enrolled on the diploma course in jazz and light music at Leeds College of Music funded by busking and gig money.  It was here that he met and made many of his life long friends and gained the great experience of disciplined ensemble playing.  The much loved “Snake Davis and his Alligator Shoes”, the nine piece soul band were formed, playing 60’s soul music with the sax taking the vocal parts. After college, Snake spent several years travelling, playing on cruise boats briefly setting up home in Brooklyn getting tuition from hot players and visiting some of the best jazz clubs in America.Back in England, he joined the soul revue band “Zoot and the Roots” started his long career as a session musician and first met Lisa Stansfield. The rest, as they say, is history.

To date, Snake Davis has recorded on more than 400 tracks for over 60 artists and the list keeps growing.  That’s not even counting all of the live performances! These are some of his career highlights to date:-

  • Sax Solo on cult television show “The Tube”
  • World Tour with Lisa Stansfield
  • “Tonight with Jonathon Ross”
  • 1993   The start of his long association with M-People
  • Plays himself as band leader in “The   Paradise Club” ITV series
  • Presents a Masterclass on Tyne tees, Granada and Yorkshire TV
  • World “Peace” tour with The Eurythmics
  • Saxophonist on Paul Hardcastle JazzMasters Series
  • First Solo album commercially available released – Snakebites
  • First of many tours with Japanese rock star Eikichi Yazawa
  • Digital single “Human Nature” record of the week on JazzFM
  • Human Nature No.1 on smooth jazz single charts with CDBaby
  • World Premiere of SnakeStrings
  • Appearance on BBC1 “The One Show” with Chris Evans, Alex Jones and Gary Barlow – feature on The Solo’s The Star for his sax on “A Million Love Songs”
  • Two of his students were BBC Young Musician of the Year finalists in 2014 and Jess Gillam was runner up in 2016
  • Klingande and Faul & Ad Wad used his sax riffs on three European chart hits, reaching number 1 in the dance charts in the summer of 2014.
  • Snake will be performing as part of the City of Culture in Hull in 2017

Snake plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone Saxes, Shakuhachi, Flutes, Whistles and Vocals. He also composes and works as an educator, examiner and music director.

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DYJA-AdminSnake Davis Saxophone Masterclass – FREE – PLACES LIMITED!

Drums and Percussion Masterclass with Tristan Banks in association with Ronnie Scotts Charitable Foundation

This masterclass will focus on the development of the drum set throughout the various eras of jazz and how the influence of African and South American music has sculpted modern music and drum set playing.

With over 30 years of playing and teaching experience, we’re excited to be welcoming Tristan Banks who has worked as a recording artist and session musician building a reputation as a knowledgeable, versatile and authentic world-class drummer and percussionist. Studying Brazilian Music in Rio, Recife and Sao Paulo and Jazz Music in NYC and Los Angeles.Tristan has worked with many artists covering a wide field of musical genres including Roy Ayers, Bobby Wellins, Idris Mohammed, David Gilmour, Marcos Valle, Carleen Anderson, Jim Mullen, Pete King, Guy Barker and Liane Carroll.

Interested in joining us for this session? Please contact for further information.  Please supply your name, age and instrument level.

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DYJA-AdminDrums and Percussion Masterclass with Tristan Banks in association with Ronnie Scotts Charitable Foundation

DYJA Jazz Suppers at The Earl – The Nicola Farnon Trio

“Jazz Music and entertainment of the highest order.  How does her trio manage to sound like a jazz group twice the size?” Seven Jazz.

Join us for this scintillating evening of entertainment at the Earl Of Doncaster hotel. Relax and enjoy the Nicola Farnon Trio and a 3 course meal.  Book a seat or table.

Nicola’s performances, with her wide variety of music, versatility and attention to detail, keeps audiences spellbound with classic songs ranging from 1930’s to the 1970s. A truly talented singer, Nicola has a passionate, swinging style, outstanding personality with a charismatic stage presence to match – and an uncanny ability to adapt her performance to captivate and embrace any audience. Widely recognised as one of the classiest Jazz and Swing musicians in the UK, Wiltshire born and now Sheffield resident, Nicola has a remarkable musical pedigree, both parents being professional classical musicians and her great uncle no less than the late Robert Farnon. She has played with and alongside such Jazz luminaries as Dave Newton, Digby Fairweather, Jim Mullen, Bruce Adams, Roy Williams, Alan Barnes,  Eliane Elias, Courtney Pine, Georgie Fame, Tony Kofi, Michael Garrick Jazz Britannia Orchestra, Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine, Humphrey Lyttleton and Acker Bilke. With Nicola’s trio you get a lot of musical talent that manages to pack a mighty punch for a seemingly small outfit as, although there are only three, between them they cover vocals, double bass, piano, sax, drums and percussion. Nicola Farnon manages to combine her exceptional talents of singing and playing bass with a delightfully original and very inclusively warm and witty performance: Piero Tucci – ‘a jazzer’s dream, as unpretentiously skilful on keys as he is on sax.” Sandman magazine –  is breathtaking to behold – especially when he decides to play both instruments simultaneously; and Phil Johnson drives the whole performance with an intense and propulsive drumming feel that allows the overall song to shine through. Ultimately these three musicians combine to give a performance that will startle you with it’s genuine love of music and melody. They play an eclectic mixture of popular standards (and a few of Nicola’s own very catchy originals); classy arrangements with a mixture of swing, latin and the moving, heart rending ballads that people never tire of. They all aim to enjoy themselves fully, to entertain joyfully – and to swing yer socks off!

You can book a place or a table! For tickets please contact the DYJA office on 01302 320002 or email
We look forward to seeing you there!

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DYJA-AdminDYJA Jazz Suppers at The Earl – The Nicola Farnon Trio


The musicians of today supporting the musicians of the future, Favestival is a unique festival featuring some of the area’s most exciting and talented musicians. From ska to house music, New Orleans jazz to whatever it is the boys in the blue jackets play, Favestival oozes soul, energy, a passion for music and optimism. The line-up for the main stage is:

1.00pm The Sandhouse Stompers
Music from the streets of New Orleans

2.30pm Hope & Social
A band from Yorkshire

4.15pm King Zepha
A timeless blend of Ska, Rocksteady and Jump Blues for good lads!

6.00pm The Last Train to Skaville
Ska – from Kington, Jamaica to Coventry, England – Studio 1 to 2 Tone

7.45pm DJO – Classic House Orchestra
Doncaster Jazz Orchestra’s premier outing in this new guise – playing classic house hits!

8.45pm DJ Lubi
The UK’s premier jazz/soul/funk/world music DJ

All money raised will go to support incredible projects both here and abroad, namely Doncaster’s own Doncaster Youth Jazz Association, which for over 40 years, under the direction of John Ellis, has produced some of the UK’s most highly rated musicians.

and Favela Brass, a music school in Rio de Janeiro, founded by Doncaster’s very own Tom Ashe, now providing music lessons, English lessons, hope and opportunity to over 40 young children, for free, in one of the city’s shanty towns.

The performance will begin at 1pm and end at 11pm.

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Vocal Masterclass with Lee Gibson in association with Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation

As part of the Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation Masterclass Season Doncaster Youth Jazz Association are excited to be presenting Lee Gibson as our resident vocal expert.

If you are a keen vocallist looking to improve on your vocal technique with one of the country’s best this workshop is for you. Covering core jazz based topics this workshop will explore improvisation, rhythm, phrasing, making interesting arrangements, communicating with musicians, performance and dealing with nerves. Places are limited so to ensure a place please book as soon as possible.

Lee Gibson has been regularly featured in over 1,000 broadcasts on BBC Radio including ‘live’ broadcasts with the BBC Big Band (with whom she has also appeared in concert on many occasions) and the BBC Concert Orchestra on ‘Friday Night is Music Night’. Lee was interviewed about her career by Russell Davies on his BBC Radio 2 show and recorded a series of songs which were featured on the programme over a five week period. She has appeared at The Barbican, The Purcell Room, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Fairfields Hall, Ronnie Scotts, seven seasons at Pizza on the Park, the 606 Club, The Spice of Life and at all the major jazz venues throughout the UK and Europe. Festival appearances in the UK and Ireland include Appleby, Ealing, London, Birmingham, Wigan, Marlborough, Edinburgh, Dundee, Newbury, Bude, Derry, Cork, Preston, Swanage, the Isle of Man and in 2015 at Dartmouth and Swansea. In addition to being one of the UK’s premier jazz performers, her talent continues to be recognised internationally. Lee has performed at festivals in France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Holland, Sydney, South Africa and represented the UK at the Latvian Jazz Festival in Riga. Lee has a long association with leading UK jazz independent record label Spotlite Records which has seen the release of three solo albums ‘Songs of Time and Place’, ‘Linger Awhile’ and ‘Here’s to Love’. All have received universal critical acclaim. A further recording is scheduled for release in 2016. Her many film and television credits include ‘Victor Victoria’, ‘Privates on Parade’, ‘The Great Muppet Movie’, ‘An American Tail’, ‘Willow’, ‘Yentl’, ‘The Two Ronnies’, ‘The Morecambe and Wise Show’, ‘Only Fools and Horses’, ‘Barrymore’, ‘The Benny Hill Show’ and 7 Royal Variety Shows.

To book onto this Masterclass session please email stating your name, age, and vocal ability. The office team will get back to you as soon as possible.



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DYJA-AdminVocal Masterclass with Lee Gibson in association with Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation

Trumpet Masterclass with Quentin Collins in association with Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation

Doncaster Youth Jazz Association is delighted to be presenting the first in a series of jazz masterclasses with some of the nation’s best loved musicians.

Brought to you in association with Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation our trumpet masterclass will be hosted by Quentin Collins. In 20 years as a professional Quentin has established himself as one of the UK’s top Jazz / commercial trumpeters, having performed toured and recorded with a plethora of internationally renowned artists across many genres.  These include Fred Wesley, Gregory Porter, Mark Ronson, Kyle Eastwood, Omar, Basement Jaxx, Roy Ayers, Alicia Keys, Dennis Rollins and Mulatu Astake. Quentin released his debut solo album “If Not Now, Then When?” on SunlightSquare Records in 2007 to much critical acclaim.  He currently leads QC/BA, a Hammond-organ quartet with tenor sax titan Brandon Allen.

Workshop details to follow.

Free to attend, but on a first come, first served basis, this workshop is open to the competent Grade 3 to Grade 8 trumpet player.

Join us for this unique teaching opportunity. If you are interested in attending please email with your name, age, and grade of instrument. The office team will get back to you as soon as possible.



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DYJA-AdminTrumpet Masterclass with Quentin Collins in association with Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation

Big Band Festival 2016

Come and join us for two fantastic concerts of Jazz, Swing, Blues, Latin, vocals and much more!

Over the years, this big band knees-up has definitely become the most eagerly anticipated event of the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association calendar.  All current DYJA members will perform in their respective ensembles. The matinee performance (2.00-4.30pm) will feature the talented younger members of the Stageband and the Swing Orchestra. The evening performance (7.30 – 11pm) will highlight the talent of the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra (directed by Dennis Rollins Associate Music Director) followed by the senior Doncaster Jazz orchestra (DJO Alumni) with special guests directed by John Ellis MBE.

We take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Musical 2017! We look forward to seeing you at our Big Band event of the year! John Ellis MBE

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DYJA-AdminBig Band Festival 2016

Aldi Store Opening – Doncaster Athron Street

Its an early start at 8am on Thursday 24th November but you’ll be in for shopping fun.  Join us for the much anticipated Athron Street, Aldi Store opening from 8am onwards. DYJA musicians will be joined by Dennis Rollins to mark this auspicious occasion for the Wheatley and wider Doncaster community. Free to attend! You’ll even be in with the chance of winning a prize if you are one of the first 100 people in the queue given a Golden Ticket!

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DYJA-AdminAldi Store Opening – Doncaster Athron Street

DYJA and Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation working together for 2017!

Doncaster Youth Jazz Association are excited to be delivering some of it’s 2017 music educational programme in partnership with the Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation. From January 2017 we have a host of new projects planned that are designed to get the Yorkshire region’s young jazz musicians engaged in music.  Look out for “Trombones on the Slide” a pilot programme engaging with local primary schools with the hope of producing a new round of trombonists. (more to follow in the next few weeks). Or perhaps, as a budding young musician one of our Masterclasses headed up by the likes of Quentin Collins (trumpet), Lee Gibson (vocals) and Dennis Rollins (trombone), takes your fancy. All activity is FREE to attend. Watch this space for more information coming in the next few weeks!

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DYJA-AdminDYJA and Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation working together for 2017!