Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

WAYJO’s 40th Anniversary Weekend

27/05/2023, 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)
Friday 26 May & Saturday 27 May

Celebrating 40 years of the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra

You’re invited to the jazz party of the year as the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) turns 40!

With thousands of events under its belt and a special place in many a WA musician’s hearts and memories, WAYJO is marking the occasion in style – bringing together Perth’s biggest jazz names alongside future stars of the Australian jazz scene for one special weekend at the State Theatre Centre’s Studio Underground and Foyer.

The celebrations begin with a Gala performance on Friday evening featuring WAYJO big bands alongside special guest alumni including Perth’s premier jazz vocalist, Libby Hammer, the versatile trombonist Catherine Noblet, the accomplished saxophonist Gemma Farrell, and the elegant vocalist Lucy Iffla.

On the big night, all three bands – MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra, St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra, and Wednesday Night Orchestra – will take to the stage to perform commissioned works, band and fan favourites, and classic big band jazz repertoire.

Then on Saturday, take a trip down memory lane and immerse yourself in our mini festival hub of in-conversations, small group jazz ensembles, historic photo displays, alumni appearances, and big band performances.

Be transported through time as all three big bands celebrate the greats playing classic big band jazz, music from the depths of the WAYJO library, and a line-up that traces jazz through to contemporary, translating be-bop to hip-hop.

With guest artists Jamie Oehlers, Libby Hammer, and Zero Emcee, this is an event not to be missed.

Join us as we celebrate WAYJO’s 40-year history and look towards the future of jazz!

WAYJO’s 40th Festival Weekend

WAYJO’s 40th Anniversary Concert
7:30pm, Friday 26 May
Studio Underground

WAYJO’s 40th Anniversary Festival
4pm – 10pm, Saturday 27 May
Studio Underground

40th Anniversary Program

Friday Program

The guest alumni are some of the most accomplished jazz musicians in WA. Libby Hammer, recipient of the Perth Jazz Society’s Award for Most Outstanding Individual Contribution To Jazz in 2005, spent two years as resident vocalist for WAYJO and now returns to grace the stage in celebration of WAYJO’s four-decade history.

Catherine Noblet, who played for over 10 years in WAYJO in the late 1990s to mid 2000s, studied at WAAPA and undertook a master’s in jazz studies at the University of Illinois, studying with legendary trombonist Jim Pugh, and receiving a fellowship and teaching assistant position.

Saxophonist Gemma Farrell, leader of WAYJO’s Progressions program and winner of WAM’s Best Brass, String or Woodwind Instrumentalist in 2020, is the founder and musical director of the Artemis Orchestra, a predominately female big band which performs the original music of Australian women, non-binary, and transgender people.

And recent WAYJO alumni, vocalist Lucy Iffla, who is already carving a successful career and following achieving a Top 10 Nominee for the Wangaratta 2020 National Jazz Awards, showcases an elegant and timeless voice beyond her years.

Rapper Zero Emcee – who joined WAYJO last year in a collaboration called Beats & Pieces and was a highlight of last year’s program – will join the Wednesday Night Orchestra to add some hip hop flavour to the big band repertoire.

Saturday Program


4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:
, , ,


WA Youth Jazz Orchestra
+61 8 9471 1950



West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra Association Inc.
ABN 75 330 922 427

We acknowledge the Whadjuk people of the Nyoongar nation as the custodians of the land on which WAYJO is located, and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to all Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, and Elders past, present, and their descendants.