Success Story: Josh Heaton

Josh took up the saxophone aged 11 and after a number of years trudging through classical grades; he began to develop a keen interest in jazz and was encouraged by a couple of classmates to join one of the Lancashire County Jazz Orchestras.

Josh took the position of second tenor saxophone in the Schools’ Jazz Orchestra, putting him in touch with some absolutely brilliant tutors who helped him greatly with his playing, developing a personal sound while constantly continuing to grow musically, and after spending just over a year in the schools’ band, Josh progressed into the Youth Jazz Orchestra.

The experience of playing with such huge, powerful bands, alongside the experience of playing with other musicians in smaller ensembles, has greatly strengthened Josh’s ability to really enjoy performing. This is partly what led Josh to apply for jazz performance courses at conservatoires, playing almost entirely improvised auditions to gain him a place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Josh gets a lot of enjoyment from playing and listening to all kinds of music – classic jazzers such as Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane and Freddie Hubbard through to bang-up-to-date acts like Snarky Puppy, Robert Glasper and Mike Stern – and plays wherever he can – at LYJO, at local festivals, venues and events, at college, in a whole variety of groups and styles from cool jazz to hard rock. If it wasn’t for the excellent care and advice given by the tutors of the Lancashire County Jazz Orchestras, Josh would not now be the same music-loving saxophonist.

Josh will continue to enjoy playing in the Lancashire Youth Jazz Orchestra (under the marvellous and enthusiastic direction of Stuart Grills) for as long as possible before moving to Cardiff and the RWCMD.