A JAZZ pianist and composer who grew up in Skipton, who went to St Stephen’s Primary school and Ermysted’s Grammar School, and was a semi-finalist in the BBC’s Young Jazz Musician of the Year, has released his debut album.

‘Meraki’ is the first album composed by Jacky Naylor and performed by him and his two long term friends, Nick Jurd and Jonathan Silk, who together make up the trio, Meraki.

Jacky now lives in London, but says his introduction to music came through Skipton Music Centre, and lessons with local teachers before meeting Mark Donlon, the then jazz piano teacher at Leeds College of Music.

This led to him studying jazz piano at Birmingham Conservatoire before receiving a scholarship to study for a Masters at The Royal Academy of Music.

He received financial help to study for his Masters from the both Skipton based, The Mechanics Institute and the Tarn Moor Trust and has since returned to Ermysted’s to do some sessions with both A Level and GCSE students.

He said: “While at Birmingham Conservatoire, I was a semi-finalist in BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year, and recorded a suite of big band music, ‘Rough Boundaries’ with Birmingham Jazz Orchestra.

“The suite consisted of five pieces about European cities I’d visited - these were my musical description of the places, capturing the character and nuance of each through the medium of a jazz orchestra. The album was featured on BBC3 and Jazzfm, and I was awarded the Dankworth Prize for Composition for my piece Bilbao.”

He formed Meraki with double bassist Nick Jurd, and BBC Radio Scotland Young Jazz Musician of the Year Jonathan Silk, while studying in Birmingham. Last year, they completed a UK tour before recording the album in two days at Peter Gabriel’s studios in Bath.

Another tour of the UK was planned his month, but has had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

LondonJazzNews describes the trio as: “Three outstanding musicians with compositions worthy of their talents. Strong writing, absolute unity of purpose, great technique, free-flowing solos, and, vitally, a gorgeous, quiet soulfulness.”

Meraki released on Ubuntu Music, is available on Spotify/Apple Music to stream, and on CD at: jackynaylor.bandcamp.com