The Isle of Wight Youth Jazz Orchestra s a new project which started in November 2017. The debut performance was on 30 March 2018 to a packed house at the Quay Arts Centre.
The Orchestra was joined by special guest Derek Nash (Sax Appeal, Jools Holland R&B Orchestra) when they performed at the renowned Newport IW Jazz Weekend on Sunday 3 June. There are other gigs planned for later in 2018 and IWYJO are always pleased to receive new enquiries for potential performances.
The aim of IWYJO is to provide a safe, structured, educational and enjoyable environment to enable musicians on the Isle of Wight under the age of 25 to partake in big band jazz.
IWYJO seeks to put creativity at the forefront, with members prepared to be hands-on and fully involved in their approach to performing and improvising, and as they develop confidence and skills, some may hopefully take opportunities to arrange and compose for the band and conduct rehearsals.
The other primary objective is to explore the widest possible range of repertoire which is out there, from discovering historical gems and learning in depth about the development of the many forms of jazz through the ages, to exploring exciting contemporary directions, world music and fusion influences. At the heart of all this, we'll be forging a new path and creating a sound and a voice of our own. We also want that to be flexible enough to evolve and change over time as the membership grows, moves on and is replaced by each generation of players.
Pete's career began fairly inauspiciously at the age of 18 deep within the bowels of the Nat West bank in Marble Arch putting bank statements into envelopes. An unfortunate incident involving a picture of a lady and a horse being accidentally sent to the Convent of the Sacred Heart along with their financial records led to a re-think and a few days later, Pete had enrolled at the Royal London College Of Music. After a couple of years of hard study, ruthless self-denial and curry, Pete was out on the road with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Having the unusual inclination to play modern jazz on the rather "old-fashioned" clarinet led to several works for clarinet and big band being commissioned.
As part of the award winning Sax Quartet, Pete toured Brazil, Venezuela, North Africa, Russia and Europe, working with, amongst others, Dizzy Gillespie, John Scofield, Chick Corea and Supersax.
It is Pete's baritone sax and oboe that can be heard on "Handbags and Gladrags", the theme for the comedy series "The Office".
A five-year stint playing and arranging for Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, saw Pete working with Tom Jones, Norah Jones, Solomon Burke, Dr. John, Lulu, Georgie Fame and Lionel Richie, to name but a few, and producing arrangements for John Cale, Texas, Sir Paul McCartney, Candi Staton, Marti Pellow and Chrissy Hynde. Pete is also the first musician in Europe to use the Tubax commercially, on a Ringo Starr track, and much more recently with The Guillemots.