JMI Youth Big Band

The JMI Youth Big Band is made up of young musicians with a passion for jewish flavoured jazz and contemporary music. Led by inspirational Musical Director Sam Eastmond (Tzadik Label, Chant Records) the band have forged a burgeoning reputation based on their explosive live performances and cutting edge sounds.

“A radical revelation! They play with an assurance, fluency and confidence rarely seen from such youthful ensembles.” – Max Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3
“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

All booking inquiries should be made to JMI Education & Development Manager:, 0207 898 4307



Hear the JMI Youth Big Band bring their light into the darkness of Hanukkah 2020 with their explosive new single Maoz Tzur.
A radical new take on the classic Hanukkah tune arranged by Sam Eastmond – this new addition to the holiday canon traverses the spectrum of the JMI YBB’s musical influences drawing inspiration from Carla Bley, Weather Report, Sun Ra as well as more esoteric Jewish sources.

Recorded in lockdown by the young musicians on their phones, then expertly stitched together by master mix – magician Raphael Knapp, this has to be heard to be believed!
Continuing their tradition of collaborating with some of the most incandescent and inventive talent on the global scene the JMI YBB is joined for this release by NYC Downtown/Freegrass/Surf guitarist and musical innovator Sam Day Harmet on Guitars.

This release is complemented by an outrageous and mind-bending reimagining/remix from the legendary Ashley Slater (Loose Tubes, Freak Power, Carla Bley, Kitten and the Hip, Big Lounge, Andy Shepherd, George Russell, The Spike Orchestra)

Upcoming events

Past events

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

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


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.

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


The JMI Youth Big Band regularly feature 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) as well as transatlantic music collaborations with Zion80 (John Zorn, Jon Madof, Chant Records, Tzadik Records).


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


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