The WA Youth Jazz Orchestra is delighted to announce the selection of Composers-in-Residence for this year. As part of our commitment to supporting young jazz composers, we are offering these talented individuals the opportunity to develop new works, enhance their writing skills, and explore the art of conducting.

Under the guidance of WAYJO’s Artistic Director, Mace Francis, our Composer-in-Residence program has become a hallmark of excellence in the industry since its launch in 2008. We encourage the composers to consider innovative approaches to utilising the big band instrumentation of the WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestra and contribute to the vibrant jazz landscape in WA.

Read about the selected composers below, learn more about our Composer-in-Residence program, and stay tuned for updates on their exciting compositions and upcoming performances!

Oliver Taylor

Oliver a saxophonist, composer and music teacher based in Perth, Western Australia. He’s been playing the saxophone for nearly a decade, as well as picking up the clarinet and flute along the way. He has a deep passion for music and musical education.

Oliver completed an honours degree from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2021 and was awarded a $1200 prize for presenting the best honours recital in his graduating year.

Oliver is currently a member of WAYJO’s Wednesday night band and has a been a member since 2020. Oliver performs regularly around Perth, typically as a sideman playing jazz, swing, funk, blues, pop, and contemporary music.

Max Grynchuk

Max is a Ukrainian-born trumpeter, composer, and arranger based in Adelaide, Australia. He completed his Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours specialising in Jazz Performance at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, Adelaide in 2018. During his time at university, Max was the recipient of several awards including the Howell Ross Award for Top Trumpet Undergraduate (2017), and the Keith & Susie Langley Memorial Award for Best Overall Honours Graduate (2019). He was also the recipient of the Mike Stewart Award (2019) presented by the Helpmann Academy and JazzSA, which was valued at $10,000 and required a grant proposal.

Max began writing for big band at age 14. At 16 he was commissioned to write for the JazzSA Superbands, contributing eight original works between 2012-2015. In 2018, Max was selected as the programs inaugural Composer-In-Residence, writing a further eight pieces that year alone. In 2019, Max returned to the program as a band director.

Max has recorded three albums as leader of his own big band. The band’s debut album ‘As For Now’ (2021) consisted of nine of Max’s originals compositions and featured special guest appearances from saxophonist Will Vinson and guitarist James Muller. The band’s second album, ‘Max Grynchuk Big Band Plays Eraser Description’ (2021), featured five of Max’s arrangements of the music of synth-funk trio Eraser Description. A follow up album, ‘Max Grynchuk Big Band Plays Eraser Description Vol. II’ was released in August 2022 featuring six new arrangements. Two of Max’s works were also featured on the Mike Stewart Big Band’s 2021 album ‘The Hang’.

Over 40 of Max’s big band compositions and arrangements are available for purchase through his website. He has sold works to high school and tertiary institutions around the world, including in the US, UK, Japan, France, and Luxembourg. Locally, Max’s pieces have been regularly performed by high school bands at festivals such as Generations in Jazz, and he has also written several big band division set pieces for the ABODA Band & Orchestra Festival.

Since 2016, Max has been the arranger for the annual Carols in the Park event hosted by the Tea Tree Gully council, the most recent of which attracted a crowd of 45,000. He has also been the primary arranger for the Royal Australian Navy Band SA since 2013, in which time he has contributed over 70 specialised arrangements for a variety of ensembles including big band, rock band and parade band.

Since 2015, Max has performed as a member of the Hilltop Hoods horn section. He has played at festivals such as Falls Festival, Splendour in the Grass, Groovin’ the Moo, as well as the Australian leg of their world tour, and as a support act for Eminem’s tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Max is currently the Bands Coordinator at St. Peter’s College SA.

Jessica Carlton

Jessica is a trumpet player and composer originally from Melbourne, Australia; now living in Perth.

Jessica graduated high school from the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Performance (Jazz Trumpet) from Monash University (2015) where she was awarded the Monash Jazz Prize (2014). Later in 2014, she released her first album ‘Not Alone’ and with this was nominated for the Bell Awards’ Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year. After living in New York for two years, Jessica moved back to Australia and moved to Perth for the first time in 2018. In 2021 she was nominated for the Music Trust’s Freedman Jazz Fellowship where she submitted a proposal about composing music about the feminist movement in China. Jessica recorded some of that music on a collaborative quartet album (with Kate Pass, Talya Valenti, and Alana Macpherson) entitled ‘Undeniable’ (released 2022). In 2022, Jessica was also nominated for WAM’s Best Brass Instrumentalist.

Jessica received the higher degree by research scholarship at WAAPA and is currently undertaking a research project about musical ekphrasis (transforming visual art and poetry into music composition and improvisation).

Jessica has been teaching trumpet for the past ten years and is very passionate about good quality, empathetic, and equitable education for young students. As an autistic woman of colour, Jessica is also deeply passionate about gender and racial equality, as well as disability inclusion and awareness, particularly in education and music performance.