JMI Youth Big Band

Music for the next generation

Music of Jewish origin and cutting edge jazz sounds fused together to create Jewish music as you’ve never heard it before. Led by inspirational band leader Sam Eastmond (Spike Orchestra, John Zorn) this is music for the next generation performed by the next generation.

For all inquiries please contact Band Manager Raphael Knapp:, 07876794797


Brand new album “Bet: We Are Here” available to buy now on Bandcamp!


“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


JMI is delighted to welcome new members to try a taster session at one of our rehearsals.
Please complete the JMI YBB Registration Form
(available to download on this page), and return to:


The JMI Youth Big Band was first formed as a direct result of an informal conversation between the Jewish Music Institute and Sam Eastmond in 2017. The ensemble is made up of talented young musicians from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures who share a love of Jazz, funk, soul and music of Jewish origin.

In the 5 years since they have been together the band have release 2 albums and 2 singles, and performed in front of capacity crowds at venues and festivals all over London. The band regularly feature a number of internationally renowned guest musicians both live and on recordings, including; Jon Madof, Sam Day Harmet, Josephine Davies, Andy Watts, Mike Wilkins and Moss Freed.

Upcoming events

JMI Youth Big Band rehearsal
Sunday 19th June 2022
1pm – 4pm
SOAS University of London

JMI Youth Big Band rehearsal
Sunday 17th July 2022
1pm – 4pm
SOAS University of London

JMI Youth Big Band rehearsal
Sunday 11th September 2022
1pm – 4pm
SOAS University of London

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

Youth Big Band Extravaganza! (JMI YBB & NYJO Academy Big Band)
Sunday 4th December 2022
Time TBC
JW3, Finchley Road


Past events

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

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 - Bet: We Are Here

The fantastic new 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


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: