Jacky Naylor is a jazz pianist, composer and educator based in London. He leads his own trio Meraki, alongside Nick Jurd and Jonathan Silk, who released their debut album in September 2020 on Ubuntu Music, to critical acclaim. In addition, he leads his Sextet, formed in 2019 for a commission from Lancaster Jazz Festival titled ‘Industrial’. A dynamic composer, Naylor’s debut release was ‘Rough Boundaries’ - a suite of original big band music written about five contrasting cities - which he recorded with Birmingham Jazz Orchestra in 2016.
Naylor grew up in rural North Yorkshire, and was introduced to jazz by Mark Donlon. At 18, he accepted a place to study at Birmingham Conservatoire, where, in his first two years, he received lessons from John Taylor. Here Naylor developed a deep interest in Composition, and was gifted a lesson with Maria Schneider after winning the Conservatoire’s Big Band Composition Prize in his 3rd year. This led to him writing the suite ‘Rough Boundaries’, which he recorded with Birmingham Jazz Orchestra and released in 2016 to 4 star reviews from major UK Jazz publications. Naylor also received the coveted Dankworth Prize for Composition (2018) for his piece Bilbao from this suite.
Jacky’s influences come from the contemporary European Jazz Scene and in 2018, after received a scholarship to study a Masters at The Royal Academy of Music, he came into direct contact with these influences: Kit Downes, Gwilym Simcock, Jasper Hoiby, Nikki Iles, Stan Sulzmann.
In 2019, Naylor received the Lancaster Jazz Festival Youth Commission and penned the suite ‘Industrial’. This was written for his newly formed sextet featuring some of his favourite musicians on the London scene. ‘Industrial’ captures different elements of the Industrial Revolution, based on the textile mills of Keighley and Saltaire, the backdrop to Naylor’s upbringing and family history.
"Jacky Naylor is a fantastic creative musician, both as a player and as a composer, leading his own exciting and dynamic trio” - Kit Downes
“(Naylor) has the potential to establish himself as a leading player of his generation internationally” - Hans Koller.
“One hears shades and echoes of Kenny Wheeler, Gil Evans and Maria Schnieder as well as the improvisatory flexibility of Graham Collier and Django Bates” - LondonJazzNews