Rising North Yorkshire jazz stars embark on European tour

Talented members of North Yorkshire Council’s Big Band performing at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert at the Harrogate Convention Centre last year.

A group of talented performers from North Yorkshire Council’s music service are getting ready to take centre stage and show off their musical talents as they embark on a European tour.

Nineteen young jazz artists from the council’s Big Band are set to travel to Germany and The Netherlands this weekend (July 22 to July 24) for the three-day tour after being invited to perform in key tourist spots in the heart of Valkenburg town and Monschau.

The musicians are members of North Yorkshire Council’s Music Hub. Set up in 2012, the hub works in partnership with local and national arts programmes and organisations attracting budding artists from across North Yorkshire to learn an instrument, make music and new friends and have the chance to perform and experience new opportunities.

In the past, young artists have thrilled audiences across Europe with their musical talents. Last year, they impressed the mayors of both Arras and Bolagna so much that they decided to invite them back.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for education, learning and skills, Cllr Annabel Wilkinson, said: “This is such an exciting opportunity for the up-and-coming musicians to perform in renowned venues across Europe and share their exceptional skills and create unforgettable experiences for audiences.

“I am proud of each and every one of them and wish them all the very best of luck for the tour.”

North Yorkshire Council’s instrumental music service lead, Ian Bangay, added: “This year’s tour is very exciting as we are playing in new venues. The prestigious Valkenburg Music Society has set up a performance especially for us as most groups cannot perform in the beautiful square in the heart of the town, so this is definitely going to be one of the highlights of the trip.

“There have been some intense rehearsals to fine-tune the band’s skills and musical prowess ahead of their performance this weekend and they are really looking forward to developing new links and showcasing some great music.”

Among the artists performing is trombone and saxophone player Harry Hirst. The 16-year-old, who has been with the band for the past three years, said: “I am looking forward to playing abroad again.

“This will be my second tour. I went to Belgium and France last year and we performed some great concerts that had lots of people dancing in the street!”

More information about North Yorkshire Council’s music hub can be found here: https://www.northyorkshiremusichub.co.uk/