Ensembles Manager

Grace Bailey

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Ensembles Manager – Job Description

Reports to:       Chief Executive

Salary:             £32-35,000 per annum

Location:          NYJO is based in Woolwich.

Hours:              40 hours per week (full time), with regular travelling, evening and weekend work (TOIL provided).

Holiday:            25 days, plus bank holidays. The office is also usually closed between Christmas and new year.

Notice:             One month during the 6-month probation period, two months thereafter



NYJO has for many years been known principally as a big band comprised of the country’s finest emerging jazz talent (musicians aged 18-25). In recent years our output has diversified significantly, engaging a larger number of emerging professional musicians & nurturing multiple ensembles from trios to big bands. We deliver hugely successful nationwide Learning programmes for teenagers and community engagement at our Woolwich home.


The Ensembles Manager is the principal point of liaison between NYJO’s Emerging Professional musicians (aged 18-25) and its management. They are central to the way in which we nurture our young musicians, and to delivering NYJO’s high quality, accessible, professional development opportunities. The Ensembles Manager welcomes people from all backgrounds and perspectives to take part in our work, ensuring that their creativity, vision and collective voice inform everything we do.


Because project delivery is central to this full-time role, a great deal of flexibility will be required in the post holder’s working hours. This flexibility is two-way and we are happy to respond to applicants’ proposals regarding working hours/days and hybrid working, with regular working days in our Woolwich Works office.  We will encourage an open discussion about this at interview.


Role Specification


  • Booking young musicians and guest artists for all rehearsals and gigs, ensuring that:
    • musicians’ musical interests are nurtured by booking them for appropriate projects;
    • a balanced line-up of musicians are engaged for each event; and
    • work is shared proportionately across our members.
  • Working with the Music Coordinator on recruitment initiatives to spread the word about opportunities within NYJO, helping to broaden the demographic and creative diversity of our membership.
  • Alongside the Music Coordinator, being a principal point of contact for NYJO musicians, ensuring that their ideas are heard and needs met, that they are well supported and that appropriate professional development opportunities are provided.


Tour Management

  • Making logistical arrangements for all aspects of project delivery, from travel and accommodation bookings to preparing schedules for all Emerging Professionals’ rehearsals and gigs.
  • Liaising with venues and promoters to ensure the smooth running of all projects, to appropriate deadlines.
  • Creating and circulating schedules to internal and external stakeholders, to clearly established deadlines.
  • Prioritising musicians’ wellbeing during projects, including emergency care and support as necessary.
  • Communicating fee and expense arrangements clearly and promptly to all musicians in advance of gigs.
  • Processing fee and expense payments after gigs, with use of Excel and Xero.



  • Engaging sound engineers, roadies and tech support as required for all activity.
  • Providing tech riders specific to each project at the point of fee negotiation or contract, ensuring that all necessary technical requirements are met and that additional costs are clearly agreed and allocated.
  • Providing technical support or advice for Learning Dept projects and gigs, as required.
  • Ensuring that the NYJO van is correctly packed and equipment safely stored, driving to gigs as required.
  • Ensuring that the NYJO store is efficiently packed and appropriately stocked, with colleagues trained to use equipment and appropriate inventory systems in place.


Person Specification

It is hoped that the successful candidate will have:

  • A solid understanding of big band and small ensemble jazz, with enthusiasm for working with young artists.
  • A minimum of five years’ experience in arts administration, ideally within band or orchestra management.
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to work with a wide range of people, skill sets and needs. In particular, we need you to be able to engage and communicate with young artists, to attract young people to become involved with NYJO, to speak to us about the opportunities that they are looking for and to help us ensure that we fulfil our role in being here to serve young jazz musicians from all walks of life.
  • Experience of fixing personnel for bands or orchestras.
  • Experience of working with sound technicians and venue technical departments, with a solid understanding of the technical requirements of a jazz band.
  • Excellent organisational skills, with the ability to work closely with internal and external stakeholders.
  • The ability to build strong working relationships with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders.
  • A commitment to inclusion, communicating with empathy, devising effective systems and strategies that underpin strong working relationships and a respectful, safe environment for all our
  • Financial literacy and experience working with Microsoft Office suite, particularly Outlook and Excel, and Xero accounting software; where necessary, training will be provided.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and the ability to work to tight deadlines.
  • A flexible, adaptable, welcoming and enthusiastic approach.
  • A full, clean driving licence.
  • First Aid and Mental Health First Aid qualifications will be useful, but training can be provided.


Why work for NYJO?

  • Being a small organisation, you are encouraged to get involved in everything we do.
  • Work/life balance is important to us. We have an established culture of flexible working and encourage staff to take TOIL when working out of hours.
  • We have recently moved to outer London’s coolest new arts hub, Woolwich Works, with fast access to central London via the new Elizabeth Line.
  • This is an exciting time in our organisational development – but then it always is. You can help us grow, develop our internal systems and improve our offer to current and prospective musicians.


No two days are the same at NYJO, and that is particularly true of our Ensemble Manager’s role. One day might be spent fixing musicians, agreeing tech specs, finalising logistics for a project and circulating schedules; another day might be spent on the road delivering a gig, or in programming discussions with a promoter or Youth Voice meetings with our musicians. We will draw on all of your skills and work with you to expand your skill set and experience, all to the benefit of the young musicians that we are here to serve.


Application Process

To apply, please submit a CV and covering letter of no more than two pages to Susie York Skinner, CEO: recruitment@nyjo.org.uk  Enquiries about the role in advance of making a formal application are welcome.


This is a varied role that requires a wide range of skills. We acknowledge that there will be excellent candidates for the role who have some but not all of the skills. If this is you, and you think you are the right match for NYJO and believe in what we do, please get in touch and we will be delighted to have an informal chat prior to application.


The application deadline is 12pm, Thursday 18 May. Interviews will take place in Woolwich on Friday 9th June.


NYJO is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality or disability status.

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