Carnegie Hall has announced the release of the debut album from NYO Jazz, We’re Still Here. Comprising young musicians ages 16–19 from across the United States, the album will be available everywhere June 24th, 2022.
Along with this, the album features Artistic Director and Bandleader/Trumpeter Sean Jones and special guest Melissa Aldana on tenor saxophone, plus an appearance by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon.
We’re Still Here presents four new works written for the band since its inception. NYO Jazz’s debut album features a range of classic and contemporary charts that are hallmarks of its live concerts. Along with works exploring themes that include social justice, resilience, and the power of music to spark joy.
“We’re thrilled for NYO Jazz to release its debut album this spring—the first recording by any of our national youth ensembles,”
said Sarah Johnson, Chief Education Officer and Director of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for these gifted young players to train, perform, and now record alongside some of today’s leading jazz artists including special guest Melissa Aldana. It was especially meaningful for the musicians to gather for an extended residency last summer as it marked the first time many of them had the opportunity to come together to play in a full ensemble since the start of the pandemic”
“With We’re Still Here, we are proud to showcase the incredible depth of talent and high level of musicianship of these standout jazz musicians from across the country who will help ensure one of America’s quintessential art forms is preserved for generations to come.”
“The big band has always been America’s orchestral format and one of the most wide-ranging ensembles ever devised,” said Jones, NYO Jazz’s Artistic Director and Bandleader. “It can convey nearly any style of music in a sonically stimulating and interactive way. This recording exhibits that diversity by placing classics by Duke Ellington and Neil Hefti alongside pieces that utilize the big band as a vehicle for contemporary American music and represent a wide variety of genres.”
“You close your eyes and think they’re all 20 years older than they are,”
said Sean Jones who pays it forward through his passionate leadership of NYO Jazz, carrying on the tradition of mentorship in jazz.
The album will be released by Platoon and available for digital download and on all streaming platforms. Likewise, the album is available for pre-order here.