JMI Youth Big Band

The JMI Youth Big Band, bursting with the energy of young, talented and hungry musicians aged 11-19, takes the rich tapestry of Jewish music and weaves it into the vibrant, ever-evolving world of jazz and contemporary sounds.
Under the direction of esteemed Band Leader Sam Eastmond, these rising stars deliver electrifying performances at top venues and festivals, pushing the boundaries of tradition and
innovation. The JMI Youth Big Band is more than an ensemble; it’s a powerhouse of creativity and a testament to the dynamic spirit of Jewish musical heritage. Join us and witness the future of music unfold, one note at a time.

For more information please address your inquiry to JMI Education Manager Raphael Knapp @



“A joy from start to finish!” – Graham Roberts, Vortex Jazz Club audience member
Congratulations to the JMI Big Band today, the performance at the Festival Hall was outstanding, very much enjoyed by our family. Jason Yarde was a great addition too.”
– London Jazz Festival audience members
“It’s so great to hear how Sam Eastmond has successfully developed his own artistic voice, and is using it so generously and inspirationally for the benefit of all the young people in the band. Long may it continue!”
– Mark Armstrong, Artistic Director NYJO

Buy JMI Youth Big Band’s music on Bandcamp!

You can listen to the JMI Youth Big Band on Spotify, Apple Music and most other streaming platforms



Sign up now for our annual JMI YBB Summer Workshop on Wed 28 & Thursday 29 August at the Vortex Jazz Club HERE.

Contact Raphael Knapp at for more information.

The JMI Youth Big Band was first formed in 2017 when composer/trumpeter/band leader Sam Eastmond and JMI’s Education Manager Raphael Knapp met for a friendly chat to discuss an idea for a new youth music project. Since then, the “project” has grown from a fledgling idea into a burgeoning, nationally recognised ensemble which has performed in front of capacity crowds at venues and festivals all over London including; The Royal Festival Hall’s Clore Ballroom, Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, Vortex Jazz Club Dalston, Jamboree King’s Cross, JW3 Finchley Road and Regent’s Park Bandstand.

To date, the band has released 2 albums  – Bet: We Are Here (2021) and Alef (2020), and 2 EPs – Maoz Tzur 5781 (2020) and Stronger Together (2018).

JMI YBB regularly features internationally renowned jazz artists both live and on recordings, including; Jason Yarde, Jon Madof, Sam Day Harmet, Josephine Davies, Andy Watts, Mike Wilkins, Tom Briers, Moss Freed and many more…

Upcoming events

JMI Youth Big Band Summer Workshop
Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th August 2024
The Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston

JMI Youth Big Band rehearsal
Sunday 1st September 2024
12pm – 4pm
The Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston

JMI Youth Big Band live @ Vortex Jazz Club!
Sunday 8th September 2024
Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston


Past events

JMI Youth Big Band workshop & performance in Lewes
Sunday 25th February 2024
Lewes Performing Arts Centre

JMI Youth Big Band live @ Vortex Jazz Club!
Sunday 10th December 2023
Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston

JMI Youth Big Band live @ London Jazz Festival! (The London Lineup)
Sunday 19th November 2023
Southbank, Clore Ballroom

JMI Youth Big Band live @ Pizza Express!
Sunday 10th September 2023
Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street

JMI Youth Big Band Summer Workshop
Wednesday 30th & Thursday 31st August 2023
Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston

JMI Youth Big Band live @ Jamboree!
Sunday 26th February 2023
Jamboree, Kings Cross

Youth Big Band Extravaganza! (JMI YBB & NYJO Under 18s Ensemble)
Sunday 4th December 2022
JW3, Finchley Road

JMI YBB Live at Vortex Jazz Club!
Sunday 18th September 2022
Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston

JMI Youth Big Band Summer Workshop
Tuesday 30th & Wednesday 31st August 2022
SOAS University of London

JMI YBB live at Pizza Express!
Sunday 10th April 2022
Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho

A Youth Big Band Extravaganza!
Sunday 19th December 2021
JW3, Finchley Road

JMI Youth Big Band Workshop & Recording Session
Tuesday 1st, Wednesday 2nd & Thursday 3rd June 2021
Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston

Zoom Masterclass Workshop Programme – Autumn Term
Sunday 18th October – Sunday 15th November 2020, online

Zoom Masterclass Workshop Programme – Summer Term
Tuesday 28th July – Tuesday 25th August 2020, online

Peer-2-Peer: JMI Youth Big Band meets NYJO Academy Big Band
Sunday 23rd February 2020
Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho

JMI Youth Big Band Album Launch Concert
Monday 23rd December 2019
Gunnersbury Park Museum

Klezmer in the Park 2019
Sunday 8th September
Regent’s Park Bandstand

Youth Big Band Summer Workshop 2019
27/28/29 August
SOAS, University of London

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

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

JMI YBB Summer Workshop 2018
28/29/30 August
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

Sam Eastmond

Sam Eastmond is a composer, arranger, bandleader, trumpet player and founder/musical director of the JMI Youth Big Band.
He is a regular collaborator with John Zorn, with his large ensemble the Spike Orchestra he arranged and recorded albums in Zorn’s Masada Book Two (Cerberus 2015), Masada Book Three (Binah 2017), and under his own name; volume 16 of Zorn’s Bagatelles series (2023).
Alongside his interpretations of Zorn’s works he has recorded an album of his own compositions for Tzadik Label (Splintered Stories 2020), and an album with a small ensemble for Chant Records (Gulgoleth 2018), as well as writing a chapter of Zorn’s Arcana IX (pub Hips Road/Tzadik).
Sam was a commissioned composer for the PRS Foundation New Music Biennial in 2019 which led to an IVORS nomination for large jazz ensemble composition.
Eastmond has worked as a guest conductor with NYJO – during the 2021 London Jazz Festival they sold out a residency at Cafe Oto playing Eastmond’s arrangements of John Zorn’s Masada Books.
Sam also works as an ensemble leader and provides workshops and regular rehearsals across various London Music services in jazz, creative music, and big band playing.


“…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


JMI Youth Big Band - Bet: We Are Here

The fantastic album – recorded live at Vortex Jazz Club in June 2021 – is available to buy on BANDCAMP now!

JMI Youth Big Band lockdown single 'Maoz Tzur 5781'

Listen to this incredible track recorded during lockdown in Autumn 2020 entirely from each band members’ own home! Accompanied by a mind bending remix by Ashley Slater (Freak Power). Available to stream and buy on BANDCAMP

JMI Youth Big Band debut album 'ALEF'

Stream debut album ALEF below. Also available to BUY in CD and Download format on BANDCAMP

JMI Youth Big Band Documentary series


Jewish Music Institute & the JMI Youth Big Band gratefully acknowledge the generous support of: