We caught up with Jacky as he was recording the Youth Jazz Commission he wrote and performed for the 2019 Lancaster Jazz Festival.
Hi Jacky, what's are you up to?
I’m recording the ‘Industrial’ suite I wrote for Lancaster Jazz Festival at Livingston Studios in London. Since the festival, we’ve had the opportunity to play the music again at different venues, enabling the music to grow and develop.
Tell us about your commission 'Industrial'
It was great to win the Youth Jazz Commission. I was really up for the challenge of writing a new suite of music, and wanted to use the opportunity to launch a new band. Having grown up in North Yorkshire, my idea was to write music about the mills and factories in the North of England that played a large role in not only my family’s history, but the history of many other northern families. I find it difficult writing music to a completely open brief, so I created five different stories which the five pieces are based on. The titles are: Workshop of The World, Wakes Weeks, War of Attrition, The Last Mill and Rebirth. I also find writing easier when I know who is going to play it or improvise on it, so I put together a band of some of my favourite musicians: Tom Syson (Trumpet), Alex Hitchcock (Tenor), Harry Maund (Trombone), Will Sach (Double Bass) and Luca Caruso (Drums).
What other projects are you involved in?
Outside of my sextet, I also lead my own trio, Meraki, with double bassist Nick Jurd and drummer Jonathan Silk. We released our debut album earlier this year on Ubuntu Music and had a release tour planned for September which unfortunately couldn’t go ahead, so fingers crossed we can launch it properly next year. Here’s a link to our Bandcamp page: https://jackynaylor.bandcamp.com. I’m also a keen big band writer, and in 2016 I released an album titled ‘Rough Boundaries’ alongside Birmingham Jazz Orchestra. That too was a suite, but based on different cities - Moscow, Bilbao, Stockholm, Reykjavik and Marrakech.
Any advice for young jazz musicians?
I’d say go for it! As musicians, we’re very fortunate to have such a varied working life - whether it be gigging, recording, composing or teaching. To any young musicians I’d say follow your nose, find what you enjoy and work out what you enjoy about it. Whilst checking out the tradition and the history incredibly important, so too is knowing what you like and why you like it.