The jazz talent of tomorrow is right on your doorstep and could be visiting your school or music centre soon!
Based in Greenwich, Trinity Laban’s world-class jazz programme has launched the careers of many of the top names on the current UK music scene including Nubya Garcia, Moses Boyd, Laura Jurd and Deschanel Gordon. And right now Trinity Laban’s large jazz ensembles are on a mission to directly inspire the next generation of young musicians, performing live in schools and music centres across London.
From November 2023 – May 2024, our ensembles will visit schools on Thursday mornings delivering sets lasting up to an hour. In addition, for the first time, we are hoping to offer some visits to Saturday music centres this coming year.
Presented by Trinity Laban Jazz tutors and students, hear a range of jazz from the 1940s to the present day and help your students develop an appreciation of the music’s context and distinctive elements. The concert is supported by a free resource pack, with other opportunities for your students to engage more deeply with the experience.
Jazz on Tour performances are primarily targeted to KS3 year groups, but will also be appropriate for KS4 pupils and older KS2 school years.
“I enjoyed hearing a live big band in real life, and to hear all this music recreated.”
Superb! Extremely high quality, very professional, engaging and informative… We have had a big uptake in brass lessons since the concert and more interest in GCSE Music”
2023 feedback from a secondary school music teacher
Touring across 2023/24 will be the following amazing bands:
The Trinity Laban Charlie Parker Project
One of the greats of 20th century music, Charlie Parker helped to define bebop in the 1940s and change the course of modern jazz with it. This 13-piece ensemble explores his music afresh from a contemporary jazz perspective. Featuring new arrangements of Parker’s music created especially for this line-up by Hans Koller, Trinity Laban’s Head of Jazz, written during the lockdowns of 2020, the centenary year of Parker’s birth. These performances will showcase the improvisational and instrumental talent and prowess of Trinity Laban’s current students, casting a thrilling light on the origins of the music and also re-inventing it anew for the present day.
The Trinity Laban Studio Band
This 17-piece band explores an exciting and varied repertoire from the 1950s right up to the present day, by composers and arrangers from across the world, as well as new music by current students eager to flex their own writing and arranging skills. Featuring a large brass section and the full range of saxophones, the Trinity Laban Studio Band is capable of a kaleidoscopic palette of timbres and a huge dynamic range. Led by trombonist Richard Henry, the band celebrates the spirit of community at Trinity Laban – musicians developing their sound and learning together, preparing and being ready for the profession. Being part of the band develops and refines reading and ensemble skills, and immerses its musicians and listeners alike in a broad and fascinating range of big band aesthetics and approaches to collective music-making, both composed and improvised.
The Trinity Laban Fletcher Henderson Big Band
This 13-piece group specialises in playing big band music of the 1930s-40s, featuring the arrangements of pianist and band leader, Fletcher Henderson, one of the most important figures in jazz of the time, as well as music from Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie and others. Led by trombonist Malcolm Earle-Smith, the band provides current jazz students with a solid understanding of earlier periods of music, challenging them to phrase and blend in ways they have not encountered before. The students strive to improvise simply and melodically, with a sound that is full of expression and swing. This is accessible music with a joyful, soulful and big sound, with spontaneity and excitement added to these classic arrangements by the musicians playing their own ‘riffs’ and ‘shout choruses’.
The Trinity Laban Thelonious Monk Band
This 11-piece group specialises in playing the music of the iconic jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk (1917-1982). Although mentored by Monk experts TL tutor and saxophonist Tony Kofi and Head of Jazz Hans Koller, this is essentially a student-led ensemble. Trinity Laban’s senior jazz students know Monk’s music from their personal practice and listening, and this is their new platform to explore Monk’s music in depth and in the collective setting. The result is accessible music with a joyful, soulful and big sound – even featuring tuba, French horn and a vocalist in the line-up – with spontaneity and excitement added by on the spot improvisations in the unique harmonic-rhythmic milieu of Monk. As Monk said himself: When you are swinging, swing some more!
Click below to watch The Fletcher Henderson Project’s first school visit to St. Dunstan’s High School in Catford and hear from the students themselves.
How long will the performance be?
A typical concert presentation will last between 45 – 60 minutes.
Who are the performances aimed at?
Our priority is to reach out to KS3 students, and help you inspire them to continue their journey in music, but the concert would also be appropriate for KS4 and older KS2 school years.
What’s involved in a performance?
First and foremost these are professional-standard gigs that you would experience in a club or music venue, but taking place inside your school or centre! The music will be presented and explained in an age-appropriate way, and there will be the opportunity to ask questions. Your students do not need to play an instrument or have a prior interest in jazz in order to benefit from the experience: we are keen to reach as large an audience as is practical and appropriate for your school.
How can my school’s students get more deeply involved in the experience?
A resource pack will be sent out in advance giving lots of background information to support teachers and students prepare for and make the most from the concert. If you are interested in Trinity Laban coming into your school to run a prior practical workshop aimed at some of your more advanced music students to introduce and learn a music extract(s) from the concert then please let us know when you apply. For most schools, there will need to be a cost charged for providing this prior workshop.
When are they taking place?
In-school performances will be available to book for Thursday mornings across the academic year, from the 9th of November onwards until late May. The concert will need to be scheduled to finish by 11:30 at the very latest. The ideal arrival time for set-up is between 09:00 and 09:30.
We are hoping to also be able to schedule 2 – 3 Saturday performances across the year, targeted at music centres: timings will need to be agreed in advance.
What does a school or centre need in order to host a performance?
- A hall or theatre large enough to accommodate a band of up to 18 musicians and the scale of audience you would like to involve;
- Exclusive access to that space for set-up and soundcheck for at least 60 minutes in advance of the concert start time;
- A decent working and tuned piano (or weighted keyboard), drum kit and 19 music stands.
- If possible, a bass amp, guitar amp, and a presenter mic and amp.