Born in Hackney, Gordon was supported by AYM’s Furthering Talent programme with funding for jazz piano lessons and mentoring from a professional jazz musician from 2009 until 2013. Gordon graduated from Trinity Laban in 2020 with first class honours and subsequently won the prestigious BBC Young Jazz Musician in November 2020. In his new role as Alumni Patron, Gordon will support AYM’s work in a range of ways, from leading master classes for young jazz musicians to performing on the charity’s behalf.

Speaking about the appointment, Deschanel says: “AYM’s help with the costs of piano lessons during my teenage years was absolutely crucial to my musical development, as was the amazing mentoring I had too. I’ll always remember other musical experiences AYM enabled as well, such as a visit to the Royal Festival Hall with other Furthering Talent students to see pianist Emanuel Ax perform. It’s great to be able to give something back now as a Patron!”

In his first act as Alumni Patron, Deschanel will give an online session for young people currently supported by AYM on Tuesday 1 June 2021, in which he will talk about his experience at the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020 competition and share his top tips for young musicians.

AYM’s Chief Executive Hester Cockcroft comments: “We’re delighted that Deschanel is joining AYM as our newest Patron. As an Alumnus of our ground-breaking Furthering Talent programme, his musical success will be truly inspirational to the hundreds of young people we support across the UK. We can’t wait to get started!”