The JM Jazz World Orchestra, the world’s premiere international youth jazz orchestra, returned this year to great success, giving a new group of twenty-three young musicians the opportunity to work with some of the planet’s finest conductors, players and composers, and to perform live on tour at some of Europe’s most prestigious venues and jazz festivals.
This summer JM International proudly presented another talented bunch of young jazz musicians that made up the JM Jazz World Orchestra of 2022. Selected through global open auditions by an international jury, this year’s band was a truly international representation of the young talent that exists in the world of jazz. Brass, wind, percussion, and string instruments abound (not to mention some powerful vocal chords), musicians came from Croatia, Switzerland, Greece, Austria, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Italy, Finland, France, the US, Sweden, Spain, the Czech Republic, Russia, Australia, Hungary and Puerto Rico, all to join the JM Jazz World band! Band members ranged in age from just eighteen years to twenty-six years of age, but all had something in common: a love of jazz music and a passion for performing with fellow talented young musicians.
Of course, the band would not have been complete without Costa Rican-American artistic director Luis Bonilla. A renowned jazz trombonist himself, Bonilla always knows what it takes to get the best out of the band’s musicians. Under his direction, rehearsals began in the village of Groznjan in Croatia on the 14th of July. The Orchestra worked hard, but certainly not without enjoying what the experience had to offer: playing with fellow jazz musicians, honing their craft, and simply enjoying being back together with friends or, for newcomers to JMI, experiencing the joy of JM Jazz World for the first time.
On the night of the 18th of July the curtain rose on the band for the first performance of the summer tour, a live debut at Groznjan’s Jazz is Back Festival. The performance proved to be an amazing opening night and a great success, but the music and fun didn’t stop there. Nerves over following their first public performance, the band continued on their musical journey, touring Croatia and Italy from the 18th to the 22nd of July. Stops included Zagreb, where the band got the chance to play at Klub Močvara, and Cave Romane in Pula at the Rocks & Stars Festival, which saw special guest stars Dick Oatts, Alex Sipiagin and John Riley join the band for the night! The Orchestra then moved on to Italy, playing at the More Than Jazz Festival in beautiful Udine. After a busy and exciting week, Split was the JM Jazz World Orchestra’s last stop. Returning to Croatia for the fantastic Split Summer Festival, the band went out with a bang on the last performance of their tour.
It was not just a brilliant week, but an amazing experience for all who took part in the tour, and all who got the opportunity to see the JM Jazz World Orchestra in action. 2022 proved to be another amazing year for JM Jazz World. If the talent and dedication of the JM Jazz World Orchestra is anything to go by, this Summer showed once again that the future of jazz music is very bright indeed. The JM Jazz World Orchestra 2022 over and out - onwards and upwards to JM Jazz World 2023!