Group rehearsalJazz in Education UK is formed from senior figures across all sectors and ages of Jazz in Education: Conservatoires; Teacher Education; Schools; Community Practitioners; Examinations Boards; Universities; Educational Publishing and Curriculum Development.

Mark Armstrong

Photo of Mark ArmstrongMark is a jazz trumpet player, composer and arranger living in South East London. He is Jazz Professor at the Royal College of Music, currently Artistic and Music Director of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, an examiner, moderator and presenter for the ABRSM and trumpet teacher at James Allen’s Girls’ School. 

As a player he has performed and recorded widely with artists such as Stan Tracey, Clark Tracey, Mike Garrick and Zoe Rahman and has had a career playing in shows and for commercial recording sessions. He writes and arranges for a variety of forces from choir to orchestra both in the jazz field and also for commercial and library music recordings.

Issie Barratt

Founding Artistic Director for the National Youth Jazz Collective, ex-Head of Jazz at Trinity Laban.

Steve Berry

Head of Jazz at Royal Northern College of Music; Jazz tutor at Chetham’s School of Music; formerly Teaching Fellow at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Jazz musician.

Pauline Black (Co-Chair)

Photo of Pauline BlackPauline is Head of Music and a Senior Lecturer in Music Education at the University of Aberdeen, Programme Director of the BMus (Hons) Education degree and Performance Coordinator in the department. She is also a part time PhD student at the University of Edinburgh where she is exploring the learning and teaching of jazz and improvising with young people across the UK.

She has extensive experience leading participatory music and multi arts projects and working as a creative practitioner in various different contexts, including in Higher Education, in schools and in a range of community contexts. She has facilitated various collaborative projects with artists and primary teachers and is particularly interested in creative and improvisatory approaches to learning, as well as enabling ways into jazz and improvisation for all.
In 2016 Pauline received a Will Michael Jazz Diploma for Aberdeen City in recognition of showing an outstanding commitment to jazz education in particular for her work in Harlaw Academy. Pauline continues to work part time on freelance youth, community and education projects, including jazz and improvisation projects for Jazz at the Blue Lamp and Jazz Scotland. 

For further information see:

Image Credit: Colin Black

Kirsty Devaney

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Kirsty Devaney is a Birmingham (UK) based composer, researcher and educator. She completed her PhD at Birmingham City University investigating the assessment of composing in upper secondary schools, which was awarded the prestigious ‘Anna Craft Award’ from the British Education Research Association (BERA). 

Now working as a research assistant, she continues to investigate composing and creativity in music education, as well as conducting research into diversity in UK Conservatoires. As a composer and practitioner Kirsty established the Young Composers Project at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and has worked with organisations across the UK such as the London Symphony Orchestra.


Leslie East

Formerly Chief Executive of ABRSM; Chair and a Trustee of City Music Society, a Trustee of The Association of British Choral Directors (ABCD), chair of the Worshipful Company of Musicians Jazz Committee, member of the committees of the Mendelssohn and Boise Scholarship Foundations.

Kate Hannent

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After a BMus (Hons) degree from King’s College, London, followed by a secondary music P.G.C.E. at the Institute of Education, Kate began her 20+ years as a music teacher. After a few years combining classroom teaching and instrumental tuition she re-ignited a passion for jazz sparked during her own school years, and undertook a Postgraduate diploma in Jazz & Studio Music at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. This steered the course of her subsequent career in music education – setting up and running jazz ensembles for school-aged students in the boroughs of Camden and Newham through her roles as Access to Music Coordinator and Head of Woodwind & Brass respectively. Kate has a particular interest in addressing the gender imbalance in jazz, and initiated & managed “Jazz Connect” to promote diversity – a project which helped Camden Music Service win the Will Michael Jazz Education Award in 2019.

Kate currently teaches music at Woodford County High School for Girls, rehearses and performs with her own jazz trio as a flautist, and directs the award-winning Camden Youth Jazz Band.

Richard Ingham

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Richard Ingham began to think about jazz education when, as a very young player, he was given a “how to improvise” book. The first line was a four bar phrase by Benny Goodman. The second line had four blank bars and the helpful instruction - “now you improvise”. He figured there must be steps in between, and has spent the last 50 years trying to find them. 

Richard has had an extensive career as a performer, composer, educator and recording artist. He has given solo saxophone recitals, chamber concerts and conducted ensembles throughout the world, presenting many premiere performances. He was the first UK performer on the WX7 wind synthesiser, performing in diverse works such as Angels in America at the Royal National Theatre, and Philip Glass’s 1,000 Airplanes On The Roof throughout Scotland with the Red Note Ensemble.

Richard has written many works, including Music for the Book of Deer, a twelve movement suite for jazz fusion ensemble celebrating the astonishing 10th century portable gospel book from Aberdeenshire, for which he was given a Made in Scotland Award by Creative Scotland.  In 2019 he completed his Blue Lamp Suite, a five movement work for Jazz at the Blue Lamp Community Jazz Big Band in Aberdeen. 

He created and then directed the Jazz Certificate and Diploma courses at the University of St Andrews for 25 years, and is a visiting tutor in saxophone at the University of Aberdeen. He is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Saxophone and is currently President of the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain. He directed the XVI World Saxophone Congress in 2012. He once found himself in a room alone with Salman Rushdie at the height of the fatwa, but the moment passed peacefully.

Image Credit: Allan Macdonald

Kate Laurence

Subject Leader for PGCE Music at The Institute of Education, London. Author of research re Critical Practice in Teacher Education.

Duncan Mackrill

Photo of Duncan Mackrill

Duncan led the PGCE in Secondary Music at the University of Sussex for twenty-one years and prior to this was a secondary classroom music teacher in West Sussex. During this time he has led jazz workshops for children and young people as well as playing and directing a big band. He held the post of Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education and Social Work from 2012-2016 and served as a member of the Department for Education National Curriculum Expert Subject Advisory Group for Music. In 2016 and again in 2018 he undertook research with Dr. Ally Daubney into changes in Secondary Music curriculum provision in schools in England which has been widely cited. Duncan has now recently taken retirement but has been made an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Education at Sussex. 

Chris Morgan

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Chris is currently Assistant Headteacher at Lister Community School in East London. A jazz graduate of from Birmingham Conservatoire (BMus) and Trinity Laban (MMus), Chris has performed regularly throughout London and beyond and broadcasts music on the BBC.

Passionate about education, Chris acquired teacher training at the University of Greenwich, and has subsequently worked at Lister Community School where he was appointed Head of Music in 2015.  The music department was recognised at the 2019 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence, winning the category of 'Outstanding Musical Initiative' for a Community Opera project. This was followed by a performance at the Music for Youth School Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2019 featuring over 750 students from across the borough.

More recently, Chris has been leading a music enrichment project with the local council, bringing together five primary schools to share music teaching, resources and extra-curricular music activities. The aim is to increase engagement in musical activities, provide a musical platform that is sequenced from EYFS through to post 16 and to develop an appreciation and participation of the arts across our local community.  

Corey Mwamba

Composition lecturer at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Goldsmiths College, London; BBC Radio Presenter, Jazz Musician.

Julian Nicholas

Photo of Julian Nicholas

Julian Nicholas is an innovative artist, organizer and educator. Based in Brighton, he is primarily a tenor and soprano saxophonist and he has appeared consistently at national venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, The 606, the Vortex, Dean St. Jazz Club at Pizza Express, The Spin in Oxford, Brecon, Cheltenham, Herts and Gateshead jazz festivals, in his projects such as ‘Loose Tubes’ and ‘Mountain People.’

Julian was the first promoter to bring artists such as Dudu Pukwana, Django Bates, Jason Rebello, Chris McGregor, Louis Moholo, Sarah Jane Morris, Steve Arguelles, and Viklický to Brighton. He is co-director of the South Coast Jazz Festival which he founded in 2015 with Claire Martin O.B.E

He composes in many styles for his own and other ensembles and is a B.A.F.T.A. nominated film score co-composer.

Julian has an extensive portfolio of education work in different contexts and he completed a PGCE qualification in 2009. A former classroom teacher, Julian has been the course leader for the Jazz courses at Chichester College since 2013. He is the co-organiser of the Original UK Jazz Summer School and has written a book ‘Improvise First.’

For further information see:

Jeremy Price

Head of Jazz, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Music.

Simon Purcell (Co-Chair)

Photo of Simon Purcell

Jazz pianist, composer and educator, Simon Purcell came to prominence during the UK jazz boom of the 1980s.

After a PGCE and working in East London schools until 1983, Simon has been active in the conservatoire sector since 1985, first as a senior lecturer at Guildhall School of Music & Drama (1987-2005), Head of Jazz at Trinity Laban Conservatoire (2005-2017) and  currently International Chair In Improvisation at GSMD. He has contributed to the development of jazz education in the UK for many years and in 2006 was awarded Jazz Educator of the Year by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group.

Simon was a member of the Working Group for the Pop and Jazz Platform within the Association of European Conservatoires (2009-2018) and his research into teacher-development in jazz education was published by Ashgate in 2005. His work in jazz education has taken him to Brazil, China, New Zealand and many parts of Europe and current research interests are: teacher-education in jazz, jazz within wider music education and neurologically informed pedagogy.

For more information see

Sarah Raine

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Sarah Raine is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ethnomusicology at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. She is currently working as part of a HERA-funded research project – FestiVersities – on European music festivals and cultural diversity. Sarah is also working with Edinburgh Napier and Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival on a PLACE (Scottish Government) funded project mapping the current jazz and blues scene in Scotland, and recently completed a partnership project with Cheltenham Jazz Festival on their Keychange pledge. 

Sarah’s published research considers issues of gender and generation, authenticity and identity, and the construction of the past and present in popular music scene and industry. In addition to a range of articles and book chapters, she is the author of Authenticity and Belonging in the Northern Soul Scene (Palgrave Macmillan: 2020) and the co-editor of Towards Gender Equality in the Music Industry (with Dr Catherine Strong, Bloomsbury: 2019) and The Northern Soul Scene (with Professor Tim Wall and Dr Nicola Watchman Smith, Equinox Publishing: 2019). Sarah is also the co-Managing Editor of Riffs, a Book Series Editor for Equinox Publishing (Music Industry Studies / Icons of Pop Music), and the Editor of Jazz Research Journal (with Nic Pillai).

Image credit:William Ellis

Jimmy Rotheram

Photo of Jimmy Rotheram

Jimmy Rotheram is the music leader at Feversham Primary Academy in Bradford, where his work has attracted the attention of visitors from as far afield as Canada and New Zealand, as well as media from across the globe.  In 2019 he was shortlisted for the Varkey Foundation's Global Teacher Prize.

He has recently launched "Teaching Primary Music", an online resource to support the successful delivery of music during the pandemic, in partnership with the Benedetti Foundation. Jimmy also advised on the English government’s model music curriculum and hopes that his efforts to get Fela Kuti and Herbie Hancock into schools will bear fruit!

Emily Sayers

Photo of Emily Sayers

My musical development was influenced by some very charismatic and inspiring characters. From the instrumental service teacher with rainbow hair who taught improvisation on the violin, to the secondary school music teacher who was as comfortable writing and directing an original musical as staging a Baroque opera. I understand the power that great teachers and mentors possess, to help young people realise their potential and support them to take on new challenges that they may not have thought were possible on their own.

Outside of my role within the Jazz in Education group, I am a lecturer in Initial Teacher Education at Canterbury Christ Church University and a PhD student at the School of Oriental and African Studies and University College London’s Institute of Education. My research focuses on Cognitive Aspects of North Indian Classical Music and has led me to learn a style of North Indian vocal music called ḵẖayāl (literal meaning = imagination). As someone who never managed to pass an audition for the choir at school, I find it reassuring that new musical skills can be learnt later in life!

Joe Townsend

Head of Popular Music at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; Director of CoLab.