As Artistic Director of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s first full-time jazz course, it is my sincere pleasure to present to you our second year of graduating students. Jazz is a serious music and is a conduit to understanding all musical art forms. Whenever young musicians open their imaginations to improvisation they then have a skeleton key to open the door to any musical genre. It takes talent and dedication for sure; but it also requires imagination, application and strength of character.
It seems hardly credible now that only a few short years ago students of jazz in Scotland had to leave their country in order to pursue their studies. Prior to 2009, there were no full-time jazz courses on offer at any of the Scottish educational establishments. Now, the first ever full-time jazz course in Scotland can boast that it is taking purposeful steps towards stemming that exodus of jazz talent from our country.
Utsav, Jay, Chris, Jonathan, John and Scott have all evolved and matured as an ensemble throughout a demanding, but nevertheless hugely enjoyable four year jazz degree course. Here, they represent themselves with inventive, original compositions that certainly reflect their individual personalities. However, these tunes are also insights into their inspirations, aspirations and ambitions at the beginning of what we all hope are fruitful careers and an illuminating journey through jazz. Our two masters’ students Phil and Alan have also joined the entourage presenting themselves compositionally and as improvisers.
On the evidence of these recordings the future is bright. The future is Jazz.
Professor Dr. Tommy Smith, Artistic Director of Jazz