The Junior Band of the Landesjugendjazzorchester (LJJO) Hessen unites the most talented young musicians aged 12 to 20 and paves their way into the professional jazz and big band scene. Participating in one-week long rehearsal sessions during Easter and Autumn holidays, the approximately 40 young jazz talents study new, sometimes exclusive arrangements under the guidance of renowned jazz musicians.
Dr. Holger Fröhlich, a former longtime member of the LJJO Hessen himself, has been recruited as band leader. The saxophonist and music teacher, who has won prizes at national and federal as well as international level, is strongly connected to the band and the Hessian jazz scene. For his pioneering teaching projects with digital media and as an educator, he has earned several awards at national and international level. He has written numerous tailor-made arrangements for the junior band.
During performances at „Jazz im Hof“ in Wiesbaden, the Idstein JazzFestival or the Grüne Soße Festival in Frankfurt, together with its own vocal ensemble, called the Junior Voices, the Junior-Band were able to demonstrate their skills when it comes to jazz. As the state’s musical flagship, the band regularly performs at official celebrations, such as the summer festival of the Hessian State Representation in Berlin or on the occasion of „70 Years of the Proclamation of the State of Hesse“ that took place in the Casino of the Goethe University in Frankfurt. In 2017 the band toured Greece with concerts in Athens, Amaliada and Messolongi, among other places, where they represented the state of Hesse in other European countries.
The Junior Band was founded in 2007 and since then has complemented by the big band Kicks & Sticks, which was founded by Wolfgang Diefenbach in 1985. Both bands are complemented by their own vocal ensembles; the Kicks & Sticks Voices (since 2009) and the Junior Voices (since 2011). For many of the members (ca. 70), their time in the LJJO is the foundation stone for studying music. Numerous former members are successful both as soloists and with well-known bands in the jazz scene, including almost all radio orchestras such as the hr-Bigband.
The Landesjugendjazzorchester Hessen has been under the trusteeship of the state-owned Junge Musik Hessen gGmbH since 2022 and is funded by the Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts.
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