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The Centre and Office will be closed on Tuesday 17th July, Monday 6th to Friday 10th August and Friday 31st August 2018 for staff training and annual instrument stock check.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this.

Gloucestershire Jazz Live (GJL)


Gloucestershire Jazz Live [GJL] is an award winning jazz centre that hosts county youth and adult jazz groups (see our adult groups page) for local musicians of any jazz experience. We have two youth bands and one adult band in GJL who typically have towards 30 rehearsals and a strong variety of performances each academic year.

  • Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Academy (GYJA)  - Training youth jazz ensemble (c. Grade 4+)
  • Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra (GYJO) - Advanced youth jazz ensemble (c. Grade 6+)
  • Colwell Arts Jazz2Go - Training adult jazz band (c. Grade 4+)

Musicians are encouraged and learn how to improve their ensemble playing and improvisational skills in regular rehearsing, practising and performing with musicians of similar ability as well as developing their own individual playing. We expect all of our members to be proactive in demonstrating good reading, sight-reading, improvising and organisational skills. Continual development of our members' awareness and understanding of the jazz idiom, relevant jazz theory and practice is also important to our sessions.


GYJA (Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Academy)

* A hugely popular group encouraging the next generation of budding jazz musicians.
* This ensemble is the ideal opportunity for any young musicians keen to explore jazz music and develop fundamental musical skills and musicianship.
* Young musicians grade 4 and above are encouraged to join - no experience of jazz nor audition is necessary, however the ability to read music notation is important, as well as frequent independent practice.
* Usually ideal for students age 10 - 16.
* Led by Peter Martin, Maureen Currie and Tessa Frye.
* The band perform in a range of genres / styles and develop reading, listening, improvising, ensemble and individual musical skills.

* GYJA is involved in our annual GJL concerts, the annual GYJA and GYJO end of year concert and typically performs in youth and jazz festivals each academic year.


GYJO (Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra)

* An advanced county youth jazz ensemble c. grade 6+
* This ensemble is the highest accolade for young jazz musicians wishing to represent their county.
* Entry to the band is through attending two trial rehearsals and an audition (please see audition information in the next menu). Frequent independent practice is pivotal to sustaining membership.
* Usually ideal for students up to the age of 19 (anyone 20 or above is only eligible for Jazz2Go)
* The band is directed by Peter Martin.
* GYJO learn and perform a diverse range of repertoire with an emphasis on challenge and developing advanced listening, ensemble, improvisation and other jazz skills (eg. theoretical knowledge of chords / chord symbols / scale / modes, performing in different styles)
* GYJO is involved in our annual GJL concerts, the annual GYJA and GYJO end of year concert and typically performs in youth and jazz festivals each academic year. 


Colwell Arts Jazz2Go

* A training adult jazz ensemble ideal for musicians wanting to learn about jazz, from any breadth of experience.
* Adult musicians grade 4 (ie. the ability to read notated music confidently) and above are encouraged to join.
* The band encourages and helps develop improvisation skills and ensemble playing from members.
* No audition is required - just being keen, attending every week and frequent independent practice.
* The band is directed by Tessa Frye. 
* Jazz2Go learn and perform a broad range of repertoire with an emphasis on securing key jazz skills and developing approaches to improvisation.
* Jazz2Go is involved in our annual GJL concerts and often chooses to perform in the National Concert Band Festival. Jazz2Go also acquire their own concerts / gigs throughout each year and always have an end of year concert at a local venue.

Please visit Jazz2Go's webpage for further information about the band


GJL 2017-18 Trial Rehearsals

Autumn 2017 - Wednesday 13 and 20 September 2017

Spring 2018 - Wednesday 3 and 10 January 2018

Summer 2018 - Wednesday 9 and 16 May 2018 (only GYJA and GYJO)

NB. Parents are welcome to stay and listen to GYJA / GYJO trial rehearsals. GYJO also has a full quota of drummers, guitarists and singers for 2017-18, however specific vacancies for 2018-19 are informed in our GYJO audition criteria (see last paragraphs below).


Group entry

GYJA trial rehearsals: click here for our online registration.

Jazz2Go trial rehearsals: click here to contact Tessa Frye

Suitability for all our groups should firstly be based on the grade examination references as explained in the "jazz groups" menu above, however independent ability and performing experience are helpful to each musician. We encourage that new visiting musicians come along to two trial rehearsals (free of charge) as explained below, before deciding whether to continue and become a member.

Please visit this gmail mydrive link (file names are self-explanatory) for an outline of our GJL expectations for each musical role within our bands.


GYJA and Jazz2Go welcome committed musicians from Grade 4 and above with no audition necessary. The ability to read notated music is important as well as being willing to give improvising a go when members feel ready. Useful theory and specific musical skills are put into practice in our rehearsals, so do not worry if scales, chords or improvising need to be more familiar - we are here to encourage, guide and help you. Please ask us questions in rehearsals that will aid your playing, musical awareness and theoretical knowledge. 

GYJO welcome youth musicians who are ideally grade 6 standard.  Attending two trial rehearsals and an audition are important to gaining a place in GYJO. These allow students to experience our typical rehearsals (sight-reading, rehearsing and responding to the Director's instructions) and demonstrate their independent musical skills in the audition.  


GYJO 2017-18 and 2018-19 auditions

Our audition dates are scheduled as follows:

Autumn 2017 (for GYJO autumn membership) - Wednesday 27 September and 4 October

Spring 2018 (for GYJO spring membership) - Wednesday 17 and 24 January 2018

Summer 2018 (for GYJO autumn 2018 membership) - Wednesday 23 May and 6 June 2018 [there will also be opportunity to audition in September 2018 and January 2019]

GYJO audition Criteria - click to download.

Student registration for GYJO trial rehearsals and auditions - please click here.

School / College teacher online reference - please click here.

Instrumental teacher online references - please click here. 

NB. For our 2018-19 year we have a full quota of drummers, space for one guitarist, one bassist and one pianist, plus singers can ONLY audition in May 2018. All other instrumentalists are of course welcome to trial and audition.


The GYJO audition requires students to demonstrate their organisation skills, plus a prepared piece which we provide, one improvisation over provided chord sequences, sight reading and a brief interview with our interview panel.


Places are offered on a basis of good organisation, a positive contribution to our trial rehearsals, as well as students demonstrating a well prepared audition performance. Being prepared to show your improvising skills and explain your approaches is important. Sight-reading does need to have a fair level of strength to be able to handle the amount of repertoire GYJO typically learn which has a broad range of challenge and technical demand. 


6.00pm - 7.30pm  (GYJA)
7.00pm - 9.00pm  (GYJO and Jazz2Go)

Rehearsals are during term time only and our performances are always spread out over the academic year. Please see the "contact and locate us" menu below for our rehearsal address and location. 


Our 2017-18 rehearsal and performance schedule is available on our online GM calendar  or published for download here.


Performance logistics and details are published on this Padlet link for our GYJA and GYJO members plus any GJL events that also include all three groups. These details are also communicated by email from our GJL Director (Peter Martin).



PLEASE NOTE we require written notification of any commitment clashes by email to our directors by the end of September 2017 for autumn members, by the end of January 2018 for new spring members and by 20 April 2018 for any summer exams / events.

We do not want our members disappointed with clashes that happen due to short notice from school / college or employed work events.

Jazz2Go members MUST email Tessa Frye

GYJA and GYJO members MUST email Peter Martin.


Sectional rehearsals

Our GYJA and GYJO schedule is provided below.  Band members' attendance is absolutely crucial on these dates - thank you.

Term 1 - Wednesday 4 October 2017
Term 2 - Wednesday 8 November 2017
Term 3 - Wednesday 24 January 2018
Term 4 - Wednesday 28 February 2018
Term 5 - Wednesday 23 May 2018
Term 6 - Wednesday 13 June 2018


GYJA sectionals will be led by band leaders and will involve GYJO members who want to assist for coaching experience. GYJO sectionals will be led by Section Leaders with support from the Assistant Section Leader (both as invited by the GYJO Director in September 2017).


NB. Additional sectionals may be scheduled, however band members will be informed and reminded about these in prior rehearsals.


A description of the GYJO Section and Assistant Section Leader roles is available for download here.


You can enquire about joining our groups at any time (see contact information below).  Subscription is amazing value at just £150 a year. The fee also entitles you to join as many groups as you like and covers the year from September - August. If you join part way through the year we will reduce your fee accordingly. We may however ask you to wait a few weeks before joining a group if they have an immediate performance that they are working towards.


* Details of costs and becoming a member:please click here

* Hire an instrument: please click here

* Audio / Video (YouTube) weblinks for our groups' repertoire:  Click to visit our GJL Youtube channel  (Please check separate playlists for each group)

* Developing your jazz skills and theory: Any NEW members can email Peter Martin to request the latest version of our supporting Jazz booklet (promotes useful and recommended resources for all our members).

* GYJA on Facebook: click to visit and like our profile

* GYJO on Facebook: click to visit and friend our profile

* Gloucestershire Music on Facebook: click to visit and like our profile.


GJL gain a third consecutive national education award

Following a submission about our 2016-17 educational provision to the Will Michael awards panel, we were informed in October 2017 that we had been awarded another "Diploma of outstanding commitment to Jazz education." This national recognition is the only of it's kind in the UK and acknowledges the many strengths of education hubs / providers across the country.

Our GJL Director (Peter Martin) attended the awards presentation evening in London in November 2017 and more information can be found on the Gloucestershire Music article linked here.

Leslie East (Musician's Company) and Peter Martin (GJL Director)


GYJA awarded at the NCBF Regional Festival

On Sunday 26 November GYJA performed at the NCBF regional festival in Cheltenham and received a Silver award for their efforts. Particular highlights from our adjudicators included gaining all silver and gold ticks in the award criteria as well as them identifying strengths in our rhythm, style and interpretation skills. The band definitely gave a very good performance, which was quoted as having "a good feeling of style," "good ensemble playing" and where "a lot of good, solid, basic music fundamentals have been established." They also enjoyed our GYJA vocalist who was described as "delightful, very well done." A massive thank you to everyone for a fun and rewarding performance.



Gloucestershire Jazz Live is held at:

Cheltenham Bournside School, Warden Hill Road, Cheltenham.



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