“John and Nichola Ruddick are a real inspiration to me… [they] work constantly to keep the band going, and continue to inspire young musicians. The band sounds great and so many professional players come out of the band.”
That’s a quote from trumpeter Nick Dewhurst, who still often plays with Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra. It’s just the latest in a very long line of acknowledgements of the terrific experience and informal training that the Ruddicks have given to so many young Midland jazz players over the years.
And if you want to hear what this great big band sounds like under the direction of John Ruddick, head along to Birmingham Conservatoire this evening for 7.30pm.
The band will be playing there with special guest Matt Harris, the much acclaimed American pianist, arranger and composer. He has featured at major international events touring with, amongst others, the Maynard Ferguson Big Band and the Buddy Rich tribute band. On this occasion, he will be playing piano with MYJO.
Tickets for the Saturday gig are £12 (concessions, £10) and can be obtained from 01675 442050 – or on the door!
Other MYJO gigs in the near future include two with celebrated guest singers, the first at the Solihull Arts Complex on 4 March with Elaine Delmar, and the second at Gupshill Manor, Tewkesbury, on 6 March with Marlene VerPlanck.
- To find out more about MYJO go here.
- To read my recent Q&A with Nick Dewhurst about MYJO, NYJO, school bands and teaching music, go here.