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NYO Jazz

Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra

@Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg

Sean Jones – Artistic Director, Trumpet, and Bandleader with special guest Alicia Olatuja – Vocals

For the very first time in Africa, hear the brand-new lineup of NYO Jazz as they perform under the leadership of trumpet great Sean Jones. This remarkable ensemble, created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in 2018, annually brings together some of the most outstanding teen jazz musicians from across the United States, following a comprehensive and highly competitive audition process, to train, perform, and tour with some of the world’s greatest artists while also serving as music ambassadors to audiences around the globe.  This season, NYO Jazz welcomes guest vocalist Alicia Olatuja, who has been praised by The New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone” and South African guest artists, to be announced in June.

As the ensemble’s profile continues to grow, it becomes even more exciting to hear its latest accomplishments. The diverse programme will include a Carnegie Hall-commissioned work by South African composer Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane, big band classics by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Mary Lou Williams, and new arrangements, as NYO Jazz showcases jazz as a living and limitless art form.

NYO Jazz’s historic visit to South Africa will include debut performances in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, and marks the first time that one of Carnegie Hall’s three acclaimed national youth ensembles will perform on the African continent. It follows successful international tours by NYO Jazz to some of the most prestigious concert halls and music festivals across Europe, Asia, and the United States.

“The group… performs at a level of musicianship far beyond their years.” – Washington Informer

“You could be pretty confident you were hearing some stars of tomorrow” – The Times, UK

Presented by Carnegie Hall in association with the Market Theatre.

Tour produced by Arte Viva Management.


Duration: 2 x 45 minute sets with interval.

Tickets available from Webtickets.

For reduced-price block bookings (of 10 or more) and school groups, contact Anthony Ezeoke, (Audience Development), at or 083 246 4950 and Mamello Khomongoe  or 081 572 9612.


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NYO Jazz 
2024 Roster

Sean Jones – Artistic Director, Bandleader and Trumpet

@Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Alicia Olatuja – Vocals

@ Photo by Harrison Weinstein Photography

NYO Jazz
**Prior NYO Jazz member

Miriam Goroff-Behel, alto saxophone
Isaac Hanson, alto saxophone
Gustavo Cruz, tenor saxophone
Paloma Ximena, tenor saxophone
Ethan Kasparian Weisman, baritone saxophone

Alex Hong, trumpet
Theodore Peebles, trumpet
Lucas Rivero, trumpet
Preston W. Rupert, trumpet **
Skylar Tang, trumpet **

Jordan Klein, trombone
Priyanka Magavi, trombone
Bishesh Paudel, trombone
Ava Siu, bass trombone

Vincent Maclauchlan, guitar **
Miles Oppinger, guitar
Carter Bryan, piano
Jasper Zimmerman, piano
Ruby Farmer, bass **
Rayah Thomas, bass
Ethan Oliver, drums
Benjamin Schwartz, drums **

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About NYO Jazz

Each US summer, NYO Jazz, led by artistic director Sean Jones, shines a spotlight on the depth of talent found among teen jazz players across the United States. The programme offers talented young musicians, ages 16–19, the opportunity to perform as cultural ambassadors for their country, sharing a uniquely American musical genre with people around the world through an international tour. The members of NYO Jazz have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest jazz musicians in the country, following a rigorous and highly competitive audition process.

Since its debut in 2018, NYO Jazz has performed at Carnegie Hall and embarked on acclaimed tours across Europe, Asia, and the United States. Guest artists in past seasons have included vocalists Dianne Reeves, Kurt Elling, Jazzmeia Horn, and Dee Bridgewater. As part of their travel schedule, NYO Jazz musicians also have opportunities to meet and collaborate with young local musicians and experience the richness of different cultures and music.

In 2021, during NYO Jazz’s annual training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York, the band recorded its first full length studio album under the direction of artistic director and bandleader Sean Jones and featuring special guest saxophonist Melissa Aldana. It includes Carnegie Hall-commissioned works for the ensemble from each year of the program exploring themes including social justice, resilience, and the power of music to spark joy. The album, entitled We’re Still Here, was released in June 2022.

NYO Jazz builds on the success of the acclaimed National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and its sister ensemble for younger musicians NYO2—created by Carnegie Hall in 2013 and 2016, respectively—to bring together the finest young classical musicians from across the country each summer for training, performances and touring. Each of these prestigious national programmes—free to all participants—is dedicated to the proposition that talented young musicians thrive when they have the opportunity to expand their musical, social, and cultural horizons and share their artistry with audiences around the globe.

Lead Donors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, The Kovner Foundation, and Beatrice Santo Domingo.  

Global Ambassadors: Michael ByungJu Kim and Kyung Ah Park, Hope and Robert F. Smith, and Maggie and Richard Tsai.

Major support has been provided by Veronica Atkins, Mercedes T. Bass, Ronald E. Blaylock and Petra Pope, Clive and Anya Gillinson, Melanie and Jean E. Salata, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, and Joyce and George Wein Foundation, Inc.

Additional support has been provided by the Alphadyne Foundation, Sarah Arison, Stella and Robert Jones, Martha and Robert Lipp, Beth and Joshua Nash, and David S. Winter.

NYO Jazz is made possible, in part, by an endowment grant from the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Foundation.