NYJO Presents…WHEELER! Nikki Iles & the NYJO Sextet

Monday 2nd August 2021
Date: Monday 2nd August Ticket Prices: £20.00 - £35.00
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Monday 2nd August 2021

Doors open time

Second House

Ticket Prices:

£20.00 - £35.00


NYJO Presents…WHEELER! Nikki Iles & the NYJO Sextet

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Booking now closed, a few tickets still left on the door.

To celebrate the artists wonderful catalogue, Nikki Iles will be joined by a quintet of NYJO musicians eager to do justice to such a lauded repertoire.


The influence of KENNY WHEELER is widely felt in British Jazz. The Canadian-born trumpet player hit the London scene in the 1950s, playing in groups led by Tommy Whittle, Tubby Hayes, and Ronnie Scott himself. Straddling jazz and the UK’s nascent free improvisation scene, he went on to play with such luminaries as John Dankworth, Derek Bailey, Keith Jarrett, Anthony Braxton, Bill Frisell, Dave Holland, John Taylor & Norma Winstone, composing over 100 works and recording numerous albums for ECM, CAM Jazz, PSI & Columbia records.  A formidable educator too, his name now graces the annual Kenny Wheeler prize, awarded annually to graduates of the Royal Academy of Music for outstanding composition & performance.

Wheeler composed prolifically into his 80s, and some of his themes, such as Everybody's Song But My Own and Kind Folk – went on to become celebrated jazz standards.

Nikki Iles has established herself as a major presence in the British jazz world. Since winning the John Dankworth Special Award at the BT British Jazz Awards in 1996, she has gone on to become one of the UK’s foremost composers, educators and pianists.

Nikki originally moved to London to take up a position as a senior lecturer at Middlesex University. Composition continued to be a major part of her musical life, which led to a long-list of fantastic commissions from the Creative Jazz Orchestra for the Printmakers Suite (celebrating the role of women in jazz) to Tim Garland’s Northern Underground Band.

Nikki’s busy performance schedule has not prevented her from developing a parallel career as a widely respected educator. She has worked as a tutor at numerous workshops and summer schools around the world while maintaining active links with most of the London colleges. Her tireless education work was recognised through her nominations at the 2007, 2009 and 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards for Services to Jazz Education.

As a musician, her highlights include successful stints with the Julian Argüelles Octet, the Kenny Wheeler Big Band, the Anglo Canadian Project, Toronto (with Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Tony Coe and Tina May), The Printmakers (with Norma Winstone and Mike Walke)r, Martin Speake’s ECM tour, Japan (with Karen Sharp and Tina May and Renga (with Rufus Reid).

Nikki has a fruitful history with NYJO dating back to 2011 with her composition ‘Hush’, which was performed by the band at the 2012 BBC Proms. She has since worked as a musician, an arranger and a educator for many of the young musicians NYJO encounters each year.

It was as a member of the Creative Jazz Orchestra in the 90s Nikki developed a natural affinity for the music of Kenny Wheeler. One of the most celebrated voices in contemporary UK and European jazz, Kenny Wheeler’s music is often characterised by a hauntingly lyrical and flowing musical style. His poignantly harmonised pieces have played all over the world, as well as being studied consistently on college courses to this day.

About NYJO Presents

NYJO Presents was built to showcase up and coming talent from across the UK jazz scene during the national lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This grassroots, bottom-up platform was there for plural creative voices to continue to express themselves at the start of their careers, despite of the restrictions in place.

After an amazing run of livestreams featuring the likes of Helena Debono, Rosie Frater-Taylor, Roella Oloro, Karen Shiraishi and Asha Parkinson, NYJO Presents welcomed its first live audience for multi-instrumentalist, Emma Rawicz to coincide with the re-opening of Ronnie Scott’s. This latest series of events will pair established, seasoned professionals with young stars of the future, to explore the work of world-renown jazz icon together.

National Youth Jazz Orchestra

NYJO are back for 2021 with a post-lockdown energy you don’t want to miss! Watch some of the most talented young jazz musicians in the UK mix a swingin’ rhythm section and a variety of expressive soloists, into one of the most thrilling jazz orchestras playing right now.

After decades of performing in a variety of venues across the UK and Europe, NYJO has helped launch the careers of many of the country’s most renowned jazz musicians in the process, such as Guy Barker, Amy Winehouse, Mark Nightingale and Laura Jurd. Expect a programme that explores the history of large ensemble jazz, from its formative years right up to present day. 

The 24-piece orchestra has always proudly provided a gateway for accomplished young musicians to progress into the industry. The band represents a unique opportunity to gain vital experience in professional environments; explore the myriad styles and sounds with the genre; and form new relationships with a range of other musicians.

The Charity

NYJO exists to empower young jazz musicians and inspire music audiences across the UK, through engaging Learning & Participation projects and impactful live performances. Founded in 1965, NYJO has grown from a single jazz orchestra, to a multi-faceted music organisation that champions national music education for young musicians, as well as professional development experiences for those at the onset of their careers.

Throughout all of its activities, NYJO are actively seeking to create a dialogue; between the established and the experimental; the past and the present; with captivating experiences that inspire and entertain.   


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Date: Monday 2nd August Ticket Prices: £20.00 - £35.00
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