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Ashford Youth Jazz Orchestra
8th July 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
The Ashford Youth Jazz Orchestra (AYJO) is well known to music lovers in East Kent and was started by John Hall in 1984. The Orchestra comprises young jazz musicians aged 12 to 18 from the secondary schools in Ashford. The band can be heard playing at venues throughout the county and has undertaken a strenuous summer tour programmes in Europe, performing in Austria, France, (including at EuroDisney), Germany, Italy, and Spain and Switzerland, with further overseas touring planned for the year to come. Their highest profile appearance was in the Music for Youth Schools Prom Concert in the Royal Albert Hall in 2010.
The Band plays a range of big-band swing and blues numbers, ballads and film themes, with all solos being improvised.
The Orchestra’s Director of Music is Tom Vafidis, who teaches at Ashford School and took over the reins from John Hall in September of 2017. Tom has guested in AYJO for a number of years before taking over its direction. Tom is a keen sax player and singer; having played in a number of jazz ensembles large and small throughout his career.
The key element in the running of the band remains enthusiasm and enjoyment for playing jazz music, coupled with the rigour of playing and performing advanced repertoire.