Since 2016, Serious has been working in partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra and lead partner, Hackney Music Service (HMS), to develop a bespoke programme called Classical Meets Jazz for children and young people in the London Borough of Hackney. Initially funded by the London Music Fund, the  programme enables nominated young musicians from under-represented backgrounds, to work together, led by creative music lead, Andy Grappy, to create their own new repertoire, be brave and step out of their regular musical genre by fusing both classical and jazz influences during holiday and weekend courses.

Guided by professional musicians from the LSO and Serious’ Jazz community, as well as expert music tutors from HMS, participants have showcased their musical talent at a range of events and venues including the EFG London Jazz Festival and LSO St Luke’s.

We were delighted that the group concluded this term’s work with an impressive and entertaining performance on Partnerships Day of the annual Hackney Schools Music and Dance Festival in the beautiful setting of the Round Chapel in Lower Clapton Road, with a piece inspired by the music of Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Horace Silver’s Nica’s Dream. With brilliant solos from members of the group alongside fantastic improvised repertoire the young people played fantastically together and were met by rapturous applause from friends, family and audience members.

It has been a delight to have worked with these young people and see their musical and personal progression throughout the course. We encourage all participants to keep making music and taking part going forward!

This project has been supported for Serious with the generous support of the Arts Council England and Serious Trust. This project has made possible in partnership with Hackney Music Service and the London Symphony Orchestra, and the support of their own funders. 

For more images and footage from the event, please see take a look at our Instagram CMJ highlights.

Photograph by Gary Manhine