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County Youth Jazz Orchestra

BYJO is directed by James O'Malley. They specialise in big band repertoire, with an emphasis on music by greats such as Duke Ellington and Fats Waller.

They have given highly successful performances up and down the breadth of Bedfordshire and beyond, and are always careful to do their rehearsing at times which do not clash with other Bedfordshire Bands or Orchestra. In this way, members of BYJO can enjoy a wide range of musical experiences, including a performance at The Royal Albert Hall during the Bedfordshire Music for Life concert in April 2003.

County Youth Jazz Orchestra
BYJO in concert at Bedford Corn Exchange, 2nd January 2001

James O'Malley had a short career as a folk musician before studying classical music as both a clarinettist and recorder player. In 1978 he began teaching woodwind in Edinburgh and playing Early MusicHowever, in 1980, an interest in jazz, and a thirst for knowledge by one of his former pupils, the internationally famous saxophonist Tommy Smith, led Jim to explore the teaching and performing of jazz. Jim founded the Edinburgh Schools Jazz Orchestra, taught at the Fife Jazz Summer School and National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland and he is now the director of BYJO.

Ian CarfraeAfter a break of several years BYJO was recreated by Ian Carfrae. Ian has a wealth of background knowledge of the jazz and big band repertoire, having been for many years a member of the New Vaudeville band, which had many hits in the 70s and 80s. Perhaps you remember "Winchester Cathedral" ? Ian was also their arranger, so he was able to bring that skill to his work with BYJO. As far as we know, Ian is the only member of the Bedfordshire Music staff who has appeared on both ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’ and the 'Ed Sullivan Show'!