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New National Program Seeks Finest Young Musicians—Ages 16 to 19—from Across the U.S.

An Extension of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America and NYO2,
NYO Jazz Musicians to Serve as Youth Cultural Ambassadors for the U.S.

Esteemed Jazz Trumpeter and Educator Sean Jones to Lead NYO Jazz in its Inaugural Year, including the Big Band’s Debut at Carnegie Hall and Inaugural European Tour


(May 4, 2017; NEW YORK, NY)—Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) proudly announces the launch of NYO Jazz, a four-week intensive summer program designed to nurture and showcase the talents of exceptional young American jazz instrumentalists (ages 16-19), beginning in summer 2018.

This new program will bring together outstanding jazz musicians from across the U.S. to collaborate with their peers and experience in-depth training under the guidance of a world-class faculty, as well as a different celebrated guest artist each year. In its inaugural year, trumpeter, composer, and educator Sean Jones will lead NYO Jazz as its first artistic advisor, directing the big band’s debut performance at Carnegie Hall in July 2018, followed by a tour of Europe’s great music capitals and prestigious festivals.

NYO Jazz builds on the success of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and NYO2, programs created by Carnegie Hall’s WMI in 2013 and 2016, respectively, which bring together the finest young classical musicians from across the country each summer. NYO Jazz aims to be one of the nation’s most distinctive summer jazz programs for student musicians, combining training, performance, and international touring. As with NYO-USA and NYO2, NYO Jazz will be offered free-of-charge to all participants.

“We are excited to extend our acclaimed NYO initiatives from the classical realm to the world of jazz,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “NYO Jazz will offer the country’s brightest young jazz musicians unique opportunities to make music together, alongside the chance to be mentored by the finest jazz players, led by Sean Jones, a distinguished artist and dedicated educator with a deep commitment to cultivating young musicians. There is a wealth of talent across the country due to the variety of well-developed school and community jazz programs. NYO Jazz seeks to further develop students’ musical gifts and share their artistry with American and international audiences as superb musical youth ambassadors for the U.S.”

Sean Jones is a Grammy Award-nominated trumpeter, composer, and educator. He is chair of the Brass Department at Berklee College of Music, artistic director of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, and regularly offers master classes and clinics around the world. He served for six years as the first-chair trumpeter for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and has performed and/or recorded with Joe Lovano, Chico O’Farrill, Jimmy Heath, Nancy Wilson, Stevie Wonder, and Dianne Reeves, as well as with Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter in the 2011 Tribute to Miles tour. Jones tours regularly with his own quartet and is a member of The SFJAZZ Collective. His eighth recording for Mack Avenue Records, Live from Jazz at the Bistro, is scheduled for release in May 2017.

“I am incredibly honored to have been invited by Carnegie Hall to be the artistic advisor and featured guest artist for NYO Jazz in its first year,” said Mr. Jones. “I look forward to sharing what promises to be an unforgettable, life-changing educational and cultural experience with the students who will come together to create NYO Jazz, as well as inspiring audiences with memorable performances that place the spotlight on our gifted youth and America’s beloved musical genre.”

As with NYO-USA and NYO2, NYO Jazz musicians will be in residency for two weeks at Purchase College, State University of New York, located in Westchester County, just north of New York City, where they will participate in their initial training and rehearsals. In addition to coaching and mentoring by top jazz artists, there will also be side-by-side music-making and artistic collaboration among the three NYO ensembles. All rehearsals and training will be centered at the College’s highly-regarded Performing Arts Center and in the rehearsal studios of its School for the Arts Conservatory of Music.

Information on NYO Jazz’s inaugural European tour will be announced in the fall of 2017.

NYO Jazz: How Students Can Apply
The NYO Jazz program is free for all participants, including room and board, and all rehearsal, teaching, and performance activities.

Students from all 50 states who are US citizens or permanent residents, ages 16-19 during the period of the 2018 summer program (participants’ birthdates between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 2002), are invited to apply to Carnegie Hall’s new NYO Jazz program. Approximately 20-25 musicians will be accepted. Students who are enrolled full-time in a college-level conservatory or university music department with jazz performance as a major will not be eligible. Musicians may apply on the following instruments: flute, clarinet, saxophone (alto, tenor, and baritone), trumpet, trombone (tenor and bass), piano/keyboard, bass, guitar, and drums/percussion.

Applications will be accepted beginning on September 12, 2017. Repertoire for auditions will be available in the fall. To be considered for an NYO Jazz position, students should complete the online form and submit all required supporting materials, including audition videos by February 1, 2018. For more information on NYO Jazz, including details on the application process, please visit

About the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and NYO2
Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the finest young musicians from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and NYO2. The programs are designed to shine the spotlight on the extraordinary talent of young American instrumentalists, offering each member a tuition-free, transformative musical and cultural experience. After a comprehensive audition process, the young musicians come together at Purchase College, State University of New York for an intensive training residency.

NYO-USA was launched to great acclaim in the summer of 2013. The musicians, ages 16–19, who are selected each year train with a faculty comprised of principal players from the nation’s top professional orchestras, followed by an international tour with performances in the great music capitals, giving the students the unique opportunity to serve as America’s music ambassadors. NYO2 participants, ages 14–17, have the opportunity to work closely with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and other leading professional artists from throughout the country. An extension of NYO-USA, NYO2 aims to expand the pool of young musicians across the country equipped with the tools to succeed at the highest level, particularly those who will bring greater diversity to classical orchestral music and/or those who have not had access to highly selective training opportunities outside of their local community.

In summer 2017, NYO-USA will embark on its inaugural tour to Latin America under the baton of Marin Alsop. The tour kicks off with the orchestra’s annual concert at Carnegie Hall, continuing with stops in Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia. Now in its second season, NYO2 will perform with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra this July at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia and in its debut performance at Carnegie Hall, with both concerts led by Giancarlo Guerrero and featuring bassist Esperanza Spalding as soloist. For more information about NYO-USA, visit For more information about NYO2, visit

About Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) creates visionary programs that embody Carnegie Hall’s commitment to music education, playing a central role in fulfilling the Hall’s mission of making great music accessible to as many people as possible. With unparalleled access to the world’s greatest artists, WMI’s programs are designed to inspire audiences of all ages, nurture tomorrow’s musical talent, and harness the power of music to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. An integral part of Carnegie Hall’s concert season, these programs facilitate creative expression, develop musical skills and capacities at all levels, and encourage participants to make lifelong personal connections to music. The Weill Music Institute generates new knowledge through original research and is committed to giving back to its community and the field, sharing an extensive range of online music education resources and program materials for free with teachers, orchestras, arts organizations, and music lovers worldwide. More than half a million people each year engage in WMI’s programs through national and international partnerships, in New York City schools and community settings, and at Carnegie Hall. For more information, visit

Image of Sean Jones at top of release by Jimmy Katz.

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