The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) is a British jazz orchestra founded in 1965 by Bill Ashton.
Based in Westminster, London, NYJO started life as the London Schools' Jazz Orchestra and evolved into becoming the national orchestra. Its aims are to provide an opportunity for gifted young musicians from around the UK to perform big band jazz in major concert halls, theatres, and on radio and television, and to make recordings, commission new works from British composers and arrangers, and to introduce a love of jazz to as wide an audience as possible, but especially to schoolchildren.
The band rehearse every Saturday at the The London Centre of Contemporary Music, near Edgware Road, London. Since the band was founded, admission to rehearsals for NYJO and NYJO 2 has been and remains free. There are no auditions to participate in the NYJO rehearsals/learning.
The performing band, NYJO, is selected by audition and invitation.
In 2011, a new band, NYJO London, was created to focus on developing school aged jazz musicians in greater London.
The NYJO's extensive discography, of over 40 recordings, includes a tribute to British jazz pianist, big band leader and arranger, Harry South.
The NYJO's members have included many of the major names in British jazz over the last three decades, including Julian Argüelles, Guy Barker, Chris Biscoe, Ian Bufton, Richard James Burgess, Paul Edmonds, Steve Hill, Nigel Hitchcock, Carol Kenyon, Dave O'Higgins, Simon Phillips, Gerard Presencer, Brian Priestley, Frank Ricotti, Jamie Talbot, Dave Watts, Chris White, Amy Winehouse,Bobby Worth and Neil Yates.