Latest News

May 2015

Our student in Durban, Alberto, has continued teaching at Hillview for a second year. LYJROs Durban Project continues into 2015, Alberto has stayed with us and is successfully teaching different styles of music to the groups LYJRO visited last summer

August 2014

Here is some feedback from Alberto our student at Hillview.

The workshops were really great. I and ‘my kids’ from Hill view could feel the empty space you guys left.  When I went back to Hill view after your departure, the students were asking when you guys are coming back. So that shows the good impact your visit had to us.

I have few comments to make about the work LYJRO did in Durban

1)      In my point of view, the first workshop at the University had a good turnout bearing in mind that, it was the first event right after the holidays. Students and stuff were impressed to see such a massive big band. Your presence at the university was inspiring more specially by the fact that, ‘we do not have horn students this year’.  The performance at the Jazz centre was outstanding.
2)        The workshop at Hill view was the highlight of the week. I was personally impressed by the way you guys work: the good team work and systematic approach to in few hours, put together a great performance. I remember one of the Hill view teachers mentioning to me that she was amazed by the fact that students were actively involved in activities that in few hours we could see the positive results.
3)      I am planning to apply the structure your guys used during the workshops as a teaching structure: have a percussion group; Choir; Chambers group and recorder group.
4)      Thursday night I had a chance to jam with the smaller combo at the Chairman. It was a great experience to me and I was happy that the ‘gig’ was really great considering that we were skeptic about the venue and its age and other limitations.
5)      The workshops at Kwamashu were a culmination of what LYRJO have been doing around Durban. All the LYJRO partners came together to share the experiences acquired in one stage. As a music educator, I was equipped with skills in how to work with an ensemble with the size of the one at Kwamashu.  The most important thing about the Kwamashu gathering was the fact that it was a platform not for LYJRO to teach but also to learn from the South African.  It was an amazing exchange experience.

6)      I have to acknowledge that I a great time with the whole team in Durban. Form You, Ramesh, and the rest of the team. It seemed like we already knew each other before.

I am grateful by the effort made by the youth in Leeds for going an extra mile to make sure that kids in disadvantaged areas of Durban have access to music and, for helping music students to pay their fees at the University of Kwazulu Natal. You guys do not imagine how helpful it is to have ‘STUDY FEES PAID IN FULL’.

Looking forward to meet and work with again.

Thanks to you guys and May God bless you.

August 2014

We have just returned from an incredible trip to Durban. More pictures and videos to come!!

July 2014

LYJRO will be heading to Durban on the 21st of July, but before we go we will be playing at Kirkstall Festival, 12th July, 4pm, for one last bit of fundraising before we leave. We hope to see you there!

To anyone in Durban, we are going to be at Ekhaya Arts Centre om the 28th, and the Durban Street Festival on the 26th.

April 2014

With just over 14 weeks until the band sets off for Durban, LYJRO held a mammoth 12 hour playathon on the 7th April in Leeds Civic Hall to help raise funds for our Durban Project.

Check out the Yorkshire Evening Post article about it here.

A huge thank you to everyone who sponsored us and came to give their support throughout the day!


March 2014

LYJRO are having a busy season at the moment playing gigs and organising events to raise the necessary funds to maintain the Durban project.
Recent gigs include a double bill of LYJRO and the Leeds jazz orchestra playing at the Brudenell Club. Future events will involve the band playing at the 'Owl's Awards and a twelve hour 'playathon' during the Easter holidays.
Events such as these are good team building exercises in preparation for our visit to our partner schools in July.
Plans to hold a major collaborative musical event in Durban are well underway.
This event will take place on friday 25th July at the Ekhaya Arts centre and will bring together a number of schools and musical groups with links to Leeds.



The LYJRO Big Band has been in existence since 1991 and was established by Education Leeds to cater for ever increasing interest in jazz from young people.

LYJRO's aim is to offer young people of Leeds the opportunity to experience through performance, the spectrum of jazz related styles ranging from swing to 'hip hop' and funk.

Over the years LYJRO has organised workshops featuring eminent jazz musicians including Scott Stroman and Dave O'Higgins. LYJRO have also organised projects involving several ensembles - the most recent being the Durban project in 2014.

LYJRO propose to return to South Africa in Summer 2014. To make this possible, LYJRO have developed a programme of extensive fundraising. We would welcome any new ideas or approaches to fundraising from members or parents as we need to do all we can to raise the funds.

Album Review

Africa 2010

The Knowledge Partnership sponsored the SA Tour 2010

The Knowledge Partnership

Big thanks go to the Knowledge Partnership, Yamaha Music - Durban, all the fundraisers and also the parents who supported this project by dedicating a lot of free time to LYJRO.

If you feel you can help with 2014........get in touch!