06 January 2021
Fife youth orchestra goes international with Zoom sessions

Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra is inviting young musicians from all over the world to join its weekly Thursday sessions via Zoom.


Musicians aged from 8 to 19 can take part in the sessions, which run from 7pm to 8pm UK time and cost £3.50 per session, without fear due to the orchestra’s enthusiastic director, Richard Michael’s Mistakes Are Cool mantra.


Richard Michael, whose involvement with FYJO dates back to the 1970s, has played a significant part in the careers of many musicians who are now making an impression on the jazz scene in the UK and further afield. Award-winning saxophonist Helena Kay, double bassist Calum Gourlay, who now works with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and Tommy Smith’s quartet, and pianist Fergus McCreadie, who releases the follow-up to his double award-winning debut album, Turas, on Edition Records on January 29 are all FYJO alumni.


“When the Covid-19 pandemic put an end to our conventional rehearsals, we thought we might have to put FYJO on hold,” says Michael. “But due to Zoom we have been able to expand our membership and welcome members from across the UK and even as far away as Romania. It’s great to be able to encourage young musicians to improvise and take risks without fear of making mistakes because, as I’ve always said, mistakes are cool and can lead to unexpected and fruitful creative ideas.”


Anyone interested in taking part in the Thursday sessions can get more information from


Richard Michael

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