Success Story: Jazz ensembles inspire Maki to follow her dreams

Growing up with professional musicians as parents has given Maki her love for music. She began playing the violin at age 5, which didn’t last long but led her to want to play the clarinet.

She learnt to play the clarinet, with a bit of help from her mum, as part of the Whole Class Vocal and Instrumental teaching project at her primary school when she was in year 4. She played the clarinet until the age of 12 and played the saxophone as well in her high school big band. Although she enjoyed playing the clarinet and saxophone, the thing she had always loved was singing. There wasn’t really a time where she started singing however, she began singing lessons at the age of 10. Ever since then singing has been her passion. When Maki was 15, she decided to audition for the Lancashire School’s Jazz Orchestra and then progressed into the Lancashire Youth Jazz Orchestra which she is still in now. LYJO enabled her love of music and jazz to grow and is one of the things that inspired her to audition for Trinity Laban’s Jazz course. Jazz has always been her passion but she began to explore it in depth when she discovered Amy Winehouse and learnt that she started out as a Jazz singer. Her aim is to become a professional vocalist specialising in Jazz who can be employed in any musical situation.

In 2012 she attended the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama summer school which she enjoyed immensely. She worked in small mixed ensembles and choirs and took part in master classes. In 2014, she successfully auditioned for the National Youth Jazz Collective Summer School (NYJC), with an intake of 40 young people nationally, where she learned to sing as part of a horn section, built upon her improvisation skills and had one to one lessons with Jazz singers Anton Browne and Norma Winstone. Maki was invited to be a part of a new NYJC project called the ‘Creative Leadership Ensemble’, which encourages young women to become professional Jazz musicians.

The more she learns about Jazz and performs with Lancashire Youth Jazz Orchestra and her other bands, the more she loves it, wants to study it in depth, and perform it as much as she can with like-minded musicians. She can think of no better way to link her career ambitions with study at degree level than a course in Jazz at a music conservatoire.