Future looks bright for young Doncaster jazz group

Dennis Rollins has been named associate musical director at the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association. Picture: William Ellis
Dennis Rollins has been named associate musical director at the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association. Picture: William Ellis

Young jazz musicians in Doncaster ended the year in style – and have a lot to look forward to in the year ahead.

The Doncaster Youth Jazz Association ended the year with a sell-out post-Christmas concert at the Earl of Doncaster Hotel.

The show featured all four of its bands during the day – the Stageband, the Swing Orchestra, the Doncaster Jazz Orchestra, made up of association alumni, and the newly relaunched Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra.

However, an association spokesman said, apart from the band’s relaunch, the big news was the recruitment of leading UK jazz musician Dennis Rollins to be its associate musical director.

The spokesman said: “Dennis was born in 1964 and brought up in Bentley.

“He became a DYJA player at the age of 14, when he took up the trombone.

The Doncaster Youth Jazz Association's post-Christmas concert at the Earl of Doncaster Hotel.

The Doncaster Youth Jazz Association's post-Christmas concert at the Earl of Doncaster Hotel.

“Dennis went to school at Don Valley High School and studied and performed with DYJA until 1987 when he moved to London.

“He has since gained a huge reputation in jazz circles with a series of funk-inflected bands, including Badbone & Co, Boneyard and recently the Velocity Trio.

There was more good news on the night when Colin Jeynes, board chairman, revealed a “local benefactor” has donated £60,000 of bridge funding over the next three years.

Mr Jeynes said: “The association is most grateful for this support which recognises the value of our work in musical education in the town.

We look forward to other commercial sponsorship and patronage opportunities being taken up by local businesses in the future

Coln Jeynes, board chairman

“We look forward to other commercial sponsorship and patronage opportunities being taken up by local businesses in the future.”

He said the formation of the association into a company limited by guarantee would be completed during the coming month, and the funding would “cushion the transition towards a sustainable future”.