On June 13th 2017, the Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation invited legendary drummer Billy Cobham to take part in a workshop involving a local primary school, the Soho Parish School. Pete Letanka, a jazz pianist/educator worked closely with the Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation to give children the chance to perform and compose in the style of internationally renowned drummer Billy Cobham. Billy himself worked with the kids and joined them in a performance at Ronnie’s!

“I just wanted to thank you and Billy Cobham for inviting our school to the project! From day 1 to the performance we enjoyed it every single second!!!” – Alejandro Pelaez, Music Teacher

Date: June 2017 – Age group: 10 to 11 years old

Billy Cobham’s Interview here:


Young & Gifted involved working with 16 young musicians from in and around London by giving them a chance to collaborate through a series of jazz workshops. These participants attended four weekly sessions with a fifth one showcasing their work by playing an opening set at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club. The aim of the workshop is to inspire young people to get more involved in music, boost their confidence and give them a real life experience of working as a professional musician. This workshop was organised by Rudzani Moleya & Goda Bumbliauskaite and fully funded by the Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation.

“It’s been really fun, inspiring and very special” – Asha Osborne, participant

Date: March/April 2017 – Age group: 14 to 18 years old

Find out more here:

NYJO (National Youth Jazz Orchestra)

The Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation sponsored the NYJO Academy Jazz Ensemble (NAJE) for the academic year 2016/2017. NAJE is NYJO’s most junior training band, and for many young musicians it is their first experience of NYJO. The NAJE is also their most diverse ensemble and it helps young musicians at a particularly crucial point in their development. We also offered bursaries for 22 students of the NYJO Academy Ensemble (either full, student, or partial).

“Since the NYJO Academy JE received the funding from the Ronnie Scott’s Foundation, the JE has continued to flourish. We are receiving a record number of applicants and are running at full capacity. We are very grateful to the Ronnie Scott’s foundation for enabling the young musicians to foster an appreciation of jazz and to gain the musical and technical skills required to perform it.” Gemma Buckenham, NYJO Academy Jazz Ensemble MD

Date: Academic Year 2016/2017 – Age group: 8 to 20 years old

See the NYJO Academy in action here:


We sent Pete Long (Ronnie Scott’s Orchestra MD & BBIAD tutor) in Shrewsbury to give an introduction to jazz & improvisation workshop to 60 young musicians coming from the Sistema England charity. Sistema England is a charity, founded by Julian Lloyd Webber that seeks to transform the lives of children, young people and their communities through the power of music making, as part of the international El Sistema movement.

“‘I have learnt to not get stage fright’, said flautist Habeba (In Harmony Liverpool) after her spontaneous duet with Pete on clarinet.” Fiona Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer

Date: August 2016 – Age group: 8 to18 years old


Over the course of two days, we turned a group of 25 children that never met before into a choir. During the workshop, they developed their singing skills by learning basic jazz vocals techniques such improvisation or harmonies. The session ended with a live performance on Ronnie Scott’s Main Stage opening for Natalie Williams & Soul Family. The workshop, led by Natalie Williams and Hannah Vasanth, was free to attend and fully funded by the Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation.

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you, Natalie and everyone else who made it possible for the kids. They all did amazingly and Noah just had the best time. He has now announced that jazz and gospel are his new preferred music genres and he want to concentrate in this area! At the age of 10, bless!” Julie Compton, parent

Date: April 2016 – Age group: 8 to 18 years old



The workshop is designed to help young people develop their jazz performance skills whether they are experienced jazz soloists or have never played jazz before. All young musicians would benefit from this workshop as it will widen their harmonic knowledge, help them get to know their instrument better and build their confidence plus having lots of fun.

Date: August 2017 – Age group: 8 to 20 years old
​More info:


The Supa-Dupa Big Band Bonanza Weekend ft. NYJO

Over 100 young people in the Doncaster area were engaged in a weekend of jazz activities ranging from workshops in schools, drop in sessions and advanced tutorials. This weekend was in association with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Date: September 2016 – Age group: 8 to 20 years old

“Trombones on the Slide”

TOS is a 16 week pilot project, facilitated and headed up by British jazz trombonist Dennis Rollins and aims to engage with, inspire and develop a new generation of trombone players. This project engaged with 2 local primary schools (Town Field Primary School and Kirk Sandall Primary School), local to Doncaster Jazz Centre, where the course was to be held. 16 young people completed the course. Visits were made to the local schools from which they came from with the request that any child wishing to continue with their learning journey would be able to do so within the school curriculum in September 2017. This workshop was in association with PBone ( who kindly provided the trombones.

Date: January 2017 to June 2017 – Age group: 4 to 10 years old

DYJA jazz workshop series

The Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation funded a series of free educational masterclasses, open to all, and catering to a range of jazz related instruments in the Yorkshire area. The focus was on bringing well known artists to the centre to inspire, teach, share, and encourage young musicians. The workshops (trumpet, trombone, vocals, and drums/percussions) engaged exactly 50 learners that came from across the Yorkshire region.

Date: January to May 17 – Age group: 8 to 20 years old


Donation in memory of Al Jarreau

In April 2017, the Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation made a donation to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music (WFSM) in memory of Al Jarreau who passed away on February 12, 2017. In lieu of flowers and gifts, his family asks that donations are made to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music.

“On behalf of WFSM, our board of directors and staff, and the hundreds of thousands of students in Wisconsin school music programs we support, we say Thank You to Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation.” ‎Tim Schaid, Executive Director