JMI Youth Big Band

Fusing together music of Jewish origin and cutting edge contemporary jazz sounds, the JMI Youth Big Band presents Jewish music as you’ve never heard it before! This is the next generation of musical superstars, breaking ground and redefining music of Jewish origin.

The band is comprised of teenagers with a passion for funk, soul, jazz, afro-beat and rock music.

Band leader/composer/arranger/trumpet player Sam Eastmond works at the cutting edge of radical Jewish culture (often with legendary New York composer John Zorn as part of his Masada projects). Sam also has huge experience working with youth ensembles, and composes and arranges all of the music for this project.



 “A radical revelation! They play with an assurance, fluency and confidence rarely seen from such youthful ensembles. Musical director Sam Eastmond (Spike Orchestra, John Zorn) has potently forged and inspired their musicality and avant mission, and they are fast becoming an unmissable act.”

– Max Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3




If you play


Tenor sax, Baritone sax, Trumpet, Trombone or Electric Guitar to grade 5+ (or equivalent) standard and you are aged 11-19, then download the application form to join us for future rehearsals, workshops, and performances.

We currently have a full quota of alto saxophone, bass, piano & percussion players and therefore do not require anymore at this time. If you play any of these instruments and would like to register your interest please email:

The JMI Youth Big Band is an ongoing musical project that focuses on developing and improving ensemble and solo playing skills.


Dates for your diary…

2019 dates to be announced soon!


Past events

Next:Gen Jazz – Bahla and the JMI Youth Big Band
Monday 17th December 2018
JW3, Finchley Road

Klezmer in the Park
Sunday 2nd September 2018
Regent’s Park Bandstand

JMI YBB Summer Workshop
28/29/30 August 2018
SOAS, University of London

JMI’s Jewish Music Fair closing concert
Sunday 18th February 2018
Alyth – NWRS

JMI Youth Big Band Channukah Concert
Sunday 17th December 2017
Alyth – NWRS

Klezmer in the Park
Sunday 10th September 2017
Regent’s Park Bandstand




The JMI YBB regularly features collaborations with guest artists and all-star performers from the UK music scene. Past and future guests include Stewart Curtis (33 Jazz Records, K-Groove, The Spike Orchestra), Fran and Flora (Talvin Singh, Sam Lee, London Klezmer Quartet), Moss Freed (The Spike Orchestra, Let Spin, The Moss Project), Bahla (Jordan Rakei, Coco Mbassi, Afla Sackey) and transatlantic music collaborations with Zion80 (John Zorn, Jon Madof, Chant Records, Tzadik Records).

JMI Youth Big Band performing live at Klezmer in the Park 2018

Big Band Leader

Sam Eastmond

Tzadik Label artist, Bandleader, Composer and trumpet player Sam Eastmond writes music born of his love of orchestration and structure entwined with the spontaneity and interaction of improvisation. His distinctive sound world is the result of his desire to meld a wide range of influences and genres into a cohesive musical whole.

Sam draws from a diverse array of influences. Jazz, Klezmer, contemporary classical and cartoon all inform his work. Large ensemble the Spike Orchestra draws these eclectic styles together in conjunction with more improvised styles.

His Last three albums Ghetto – The Spike Orchestra (Spike Records) Meltdown – Pressure75 (East Green Records) and Cerberus: The Spike Orchestra Play John Zorn’s Masada Book Two (Tzadik Label) are thematically linked by his immersion in the world of large ensemble Radical Jewish Culture.

Working with legendary Downtown NYC Composer and seminal Radical Jewish Culture innovator John Zorn, Sam is one of a small number of artists chosen to collaborate on Zorn’s monolithic Masada series which features Pat Metheny, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Ben Goldberg, Marc Ribot, David Krakauer, Uri Caine, The Cracow Klezmer Band et al and is the only UK artist to feature in the series.

“…Arranger Eastmond’s inventively effective mix of avant contemporary and more rootsy styles turns out to be a passionately eclectic reflection on it’s subject. With an injection of some Ellingtonian swing, brass voicing evoking Gil Evans’ flamenco-ish passages from Sketches of Spain, elements from Brecht-ian Weimar caberet, bop, free improv with Nikki Franklin’s non-verbal, avant-improv vocals through to downtown New York klezmer, this is an entirely positive form of commemoration….”

**** Jazzwise Magazine Ghetto review

“Quite unlike anything else I heard this year, the Spike Orchestra released two fabulous records in 2015. “Ghetto” was a moving musical expression of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943 that stopped me in my tracks when I heard it this summer—about as far as it was possible to get from the endless ‘Sinatra’s in corduroy’ that plagued our music this year. If anything, though, second release “Cerberus” just topped it on account of being a touch more accessible and rhythmic. Ones to watch for in 2016.”

– Phil Barnes’ Favourite Albums of 2015 – All About Jazz


Big Band Jazz Artist in Residence

Stewart Curtis

Stewart Curtis is a freelance Reed & Woodwind musician & educator. He presently works at JFS, Hasmoneon, Yavneh College, Clore Shalom Wren Academy among others. Over the past 30 years Stewart has worked with many household names including Nik Kershaw, Tracey Ullman and Glen Matlock, as well as performing on television (Ben Elton Show – BBC 1, Viva Cabaret – Channel 4) & in various West End shows.

Presently Stewart plays for the Jazz Dynamos, Stealing Dan & Don, The Boneshaker Band.

He also fronts his own ensembles; K-Groove and The Brass Bottom 4tet.

Stewart has released 4 CDs under his own name through ‘33’ records.

Big Band Jazz Artist in Residence

Moss Freed

Moss Freed is a composer, guitarist and improviser. He studied music at the University of Edinburgh and Berklee College of Music (Boston), before completing a masters in composition at Goldsmiths College. He has received scholarships from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Bucher/Fraser Trust and the Berklee World Scholarship Tour.
Moss has composed for Aisha Orazbayeva, Joseph Houston, Joshua Hyde, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, DriftEnsemble, Via Nova and several of his own projects, with broadcasts including BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM and BBC 6Music, and TV credits including BBC 1’s The One Show. Moss founded and runs Let Spin (‘an electrifying live band whose grooves could wake the dead’ Guardian) and Moss Project (‘nothing short of breathtaking’ All About Jazz), also performing as a guitarist with Counter’s Creek, Arun Ghosh, and the Spike Orchestra, whose albums of John Zorn’s music have been released on Tzadik.
Performances include HCMF, the Barbican Centre, the Southbank Centre, Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express Soho, and various European festivals.
Moss works as a teacher, examiner and workshop leader, and presents his research regularly. He is currently researching composition at the Universities of Hull and Huddersfield as a NECAH scholar and lives in London.




Jewish Music Institute & the JMI Youth Big Band

gratefully acknowledge the generous support of

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