If you’re a musician, or a student, or just interested in how jazz works, you’re very welcome to come to our Wednesday workshops before our main gig at the Pavilion.

Tutored by the UK’s top jazz musicians, the workshops are open to both students and more experienced players (reasonable technical competence on your instrument is required), as well as spectators, and are an ideal opportunity to learn and  develop jazz improvisational skills from some of the most experienced and highly regarded players in the country.

The sessions start at 5.30pm. until 7pm, at the Guildford and Godalming Rugby Club and the booking fee is £10 for participants.

Previous tutors have included:

GARETH LOCKRANE (Director, Junior Jazz Course, Royal Academy)
MALCOLM EDMONSTONE (Royal Academy, Guildhall, Trinity)
MARK LOCKHEART (Trinity, Royal Academy, National Youth Jazz Collective)
STEVE WATERMAN (Trinity, Royal Northern and Royal Welsh)
MORNINGTON LOCKETT ( Royal College, Trinity, Leeds, Royal Northern)
DAVE O’HIGGINS (LCCM, Goldsmiths. Birmingham)

Wednesday July 12th MARK ARMSTRONG  

ARMSTRONG Mark 6 CR Andrew CleyndertMark Armstrong is a composer and arranger, Jazz Professor at the Royal College of Music and Artistic Director of NYJO, and one of our leading jazz trumpeters

Mark took a degree in Music at Oxford University and completed the postgraduate course in jazz and studio music at the Guildhall School of Music, gaining an LGSM in Jazz. His position as Jazz Professor at the Royal College of Music combines academic lecturing, practical coaching and tuition. He runs classes on jazz harmony, arranging, composition and improvisation for undergraduates and postgraduates. He directs the RCM Swing Band and RCM Big Band in internal and external concerts, including a recent performance of Ellington’s Such Sweet Thunder at the South Bank.

Mark’s playing career has included a wide variety of styles and genres. He was a member of Clark Tracey’s Quintet for seven years, recording two albums, The Calling (2003) and The Mighty Sas (2006) and played regularly with Clark’s father Stan Tracey, recording with Stan on his final quintet album The Flying Pig (2013) (“a gloriously burnished tone and a relaxed intensity” – Richard Williams; “matches the master stride  by stride” – Duncan Heining) and with Stan’s big band live from the 2006 Appleby jazz festival as well as performing with the big band at the 2009 BBC Proms. Mark’s work as a sideman has also seen him playing Latin Jazz with Robin Jones’s Sextet, mainstream and traditional jazz with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra and bebop with Peter Long’s Gillespiana in which the Times’s Alyn Shipton described his playing as “pirouetting through Gillespie’s breaks quicker than a hummingbird’s wings” and John Fordham of the Guardian described him as “the solo star of the outfit”. Mark was nominated in the best trumpet category of the 2007 Ronnie Scott Jazz Awards. Mark still performs regularly as a jazz trumpet player: as a member of the Ronnie Scott Jazz Orchestra and in his own quartet, which released the Album Coastbound in 2010, amongst other freelance engagements.

Mark’s career as a conductor began at Oxford where he helped to resurrect the Oxford University Big Band. After joining the National Youth Jazz Orchestra as a player he was asked by founding Music Director Bill Ashton to act as his assistant, a position he maintained for almost 15 years before being formally appointed as NYJO’s Artistic and Music Director in 2011. Since this appointment the orchestra recorded its first studio album for many years, The Change, and appeared at the 2012 BBC Proms concerts: one of the few Proms to be televised that year, and at the London Jazz Festival in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2015 he produced and directed NYJO’s new double album NYJO Fifty, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the orchestra. Most recently Mark was the artistic driving force behind a project uniting the musicians of three youth jazz orchestras: BuJazzO from Germany, the Dutch NJJO and NYJO. Under the title “Three Nations Under One Groove” the groups rehearsed together and played a series of concerts in Germany and finishing at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam, mixing musicians from all three orchestras together in all the repertoire.

Additional education work includes lecturing in composition and analysis at the London Centre of Contemporary Music, and teaching the trumpet at James Allen’s Girls’ School. Mark also works for the examination body ABRSM as an examiner, presenter and moderator. He collaborated with Tamsin Cox of DHA Communications on a paper about the musical underpinnings of the ABRSM for the new chief executive Michael Elliot in 2015.

Mark is a past winner of the BBC Big Band Competition arranging prize, and many of his big band compositions can be heard on recent NYJO albums. A recent commission, the Solstice Suite for big band was performed at the 2009 North Sea Jazz Festival. He writes a wide range of arrangements and compositions from choral music to symphony orchestra.



Wednesday 12th July 5.30pm to 7pm

The workshop is open to all instrumentalists and observers also very welcome.

Booking fee £10 (students £5)

The masterclass will be followed by the gig with Mark’s Quintet at the Pavilion, starting at 8pm, to which workshop participants are warmly invited (click here for more details about the gig)

Tickets for the workshop and gig combined are £20 (£10 students)

Please email: for more information, or to book a place on the workshop as a participant or observer.

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