New Business and Development Manager

We’re delighted to announce that Emma Franz has joined the WAYJO team as our Business and Development Manager, as your go-to for all things partnership proposals and ongoing relations.

Emma Franz has a solid track record on both the practitioner and business sides of the arts, have started her career as a singer, pianist, and composer. She worked as a jazz singer and band leader in Australia and around the globe, before expanding her scope to non-fiction cinema in the roles of producer, director, writer, cinematographer, and editor on internationally acclaimed and award-winning feature projects, including the music films Intangible Asset Number 82 (Korea-Australia) and Bill Frisell, A Portrait (USA).

Her work in cinema as producer-director has been screened in some of the world’s most significant film festivals, had theatre runs in the USA and Korea, and been broadcast on Netflix, Amazon Prime, ABC Australia, NHK Japan, LinkTV USA, Sky Italy, YLE Finland, TV Catalunya, and others. Her invitation as a guest speaker includes the Lincoln Centre and Museum of the Moving Image NYC, the Smithsonian Museum Washington, and the National Film and Sound Archives Australia. Her roles have naturally encompassed contract supervision, project and operations management, financing, and partner development and relations.

Franz holds a master’s in interdisciplinary arts and has demonstrated a passionate commitment to communicating the intangible value of music and music creation. She brings that background – as well experience fronting the Moovin’ and Groovin’ Jazz Orchestra (pictured above) and B Sharp Big Band – to her work with WAYJO.

If you’d like to get in contact with Emma, you can send her an email, or phone the office on 08 9471 1950.

WAYJO celebrates 40 years as Australia’s leading youth jazz orchestra

WAYJO is celebrating our 40th anniversary this year, having been at the forefront of forging professional jazz artists aged 14 to 25 since 1983.

To celebrate, we’re throwing a Season Launch Block Party to get the festivities started!

All are welcome to attend this free community event, from 3pm – 5pm on Sunday 5 March at Lyric Lane Laneway in Maylands. The Block Party features sets from the MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra, the St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra, and the Wednesday Night Orchestra.

WAYJO's 40-Year Anniversary

WAYJO Artistic Director & Musical Director (and Band Leader of the Wednesday Night Orchestra), Mace Francis, reflected on the 40-year anniversary:

We are honoured to present an annual program that both celebrates WAYJO’s 40 years and gives our musicians the very best big band experiences.

In 2023 we will work with alumni, previous guest artists and future stars of the Australian jazz scene. Perth’s jazz lovers are invited to join us at WAYJO's first performance of the year showcasing all three bands and launching the 2023 40th birthday program.

Over its 40-year history thousands of young musicians have performed with us at over thousands of events. That is an incredible number of young people who have reaped the benefits of everything being in a big band has to offer; teamwork, communication, connection, purpose, inspiration, personal and professional development, passion, and pride. Benefits that are now, more than ever, so important to young people in our ever-disconnected world.

WAYJO holds a very special place in many WA musician’s hearts and memories. It is a place where they not only made great music in a great band but met their musician colleagues, future partners, and lifelong friends. WAYJO changed my life for the better after first joining it as a guitarist in 2001.

The opportunity to rehearse and play amazing jazz repertoire with like-minded musicians on a regular basis is an absolute blessing and WAYJO is so proud to have been able to do this for 40 years.

Each year the young musical talent in this state keeps getting better and better as WAYJO musicians go on to teach, their knowledge and skill development distilled and amplified.

We look forward to connecting young performers and composers with each other for another 40 years to create experiences, friendships and memories that live longer than anyone's time as a member of WAYJO.

-Mace Francis

Head along to our Season Launch on Sunday to be the first to hear the full 2023 program. Alternatively, sign up to our e-news to get it directly to your inbox!

WAYJO 2022 Quarry Farewell - Josh Wells

Thank You 2022 - Farewell to the Year & Staff Members

2022, what a challenging yet rewarding year we have had! Even with all the disruptions around Covid WAYJO has achieved so much this year. WAYJO presented around 35 performances across 28 venues, visited 15 schools and ran 111 workshops across 5 programs!

That's a lot of work for a small office team, so we'll be taking a much needed break Friday 16 December 2022, returning to the office Monday 9 January 2023.

It's wonderful seeing the development of our musicians across all of our programs and productions. Our MinterEllison Monday, St John of God Health Care Tuesday, and WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestras have worked so hard throughout the year and have made WAYJO so successful. Then there is the great work that all of our Pathways Participants in the Northern Corridor Training Band, Young Women in Jazz, WAYJO Club, and outer metro school concert workshops. Well done team WAYJO!

I acknowledge with gratitude our dedicated staff members Mace, Emily, Justine, Amanda, Marty, Ricki, Gemma, Tom, Adrian and Jess and the WAYJO Board for their commitment. I welcome the newest addition to the WAYJO family Laura Halligan who is our new Events and Logistics Manager. I have no doubt her contribution to WAYJO will be amazing!

It is with heavy hearts that we farewell Emily Stokoe, our Events and Logistics Manager, and Justine Thornley, our Marketing Coordinator. Their dedication to their jobs has been simply incredible, always going well above and beyond the call of duty! Whilst we are sad to see them go, we all of course wish them the very best in their future endeavours. Em and Justine – on behalf of everyone at WAYJO thank you both for your marvellous contributions – you will be so missed by us all.

All of WAYJO's achievements would not be possible without our supporters and sponsors: The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industry, Healthway for the Act Belong Commit message, North West Shelf Gas, Minderoo Foundation, MinterEllison, St John of God Health Care, the City of Bayswater, the Simon Lee Foundation, the Bendat Foundation, the Stan Perron Foundation, all of our Private Donors, Seat Sponsors and 240 Club Members.

As General Manager and on behalf of WAYJO I sincerely thank all of you.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and look forward to an exciting 2023 when WAYJO turns the big 40.

Monique Douglas

WAYJO Seasons Greetings 2022


Band photo from 2022 Best of WAYJO show - Josh Wells

WAYJO presents Final 2022 Show at Quarry Amphitheatre, 25 November

In a grand finale to their 2022 season, WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) presents three big bands in one glorious night under the stars in The Best of 2022 at Quarry Amphitheatre, Friday 25 November.

“The band members have put in their votes for their favourite music that they have played throughout 2022” says WAYJO’s Artistic Director Dr Mace Francis. “They have selected some music from each concert and project including two new pieces commissioned as part of the Composer in Residence program.”

“The Wednesday Night Orchestra’s set will take you through music from the great swingin’ big band era of the 1940 to music composed in July this year!”

With three big bands on stage for one night only, tickets represent exceptional value for a fantastic show of diverse jazz to suit everyone’s taste.

WAYJO’s MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra toured Margaret River and Bunbury in August. “The MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra will be selecting repertoire from their shows, featuring the music of Gemma Farrell, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Mingus. Get ready for an explosive set of big band music from the ever youthful MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra!” – MNO Musical Director Ricki Malet.

The St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra also toured the great Southern September, and present “… everything from Count Basie to Tito Puente and a whole gamut of swinging big-band jazz and funk in between. We always look forward to entertaining you with this performance as the culmination of a year’s worth of work and rehearsals. You might pay for the whole seat, but you will only need the edge!” – TNO Musical Director Marty Pervan.

The Quarry Amphitheatre is one of Perth’s premier outdoor performance venues. Nestled in the tranquil bush setting of Bold Park Reserve, it offers a stunning skyline view. Bring a picnic, choose from the Limestone Cafe menu on the night, or pre-order picnic hampers, and enjoy a jazz picnic under the stars with friends and family.

These bands have never sounded better after a year of working and touring together. A sell out several years in a row, be sure to book early for The Best of WAYJO 2022.

Stay tuned to as WAYJO prepares to celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2023.

The Best of WAYJO 2022
MinterEllison Monday, St John of God Health Care Tuesday, & WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestras
Fri 25 November, 7.30pm
Quarry Amphitheatre, City Beach


WAYJO thanks Government Partner the Department of Local Government, Sport, and Cultural Industries, Principal Partner North West Shelf Gas, Major Programs Partner Minderoo Foundation, MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra Naming Rights Partner, St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra Naming Rights Partner, and Healthway Act Belong Commit for their continued support.

Photographs of 2021 WAYJO Quarry show by Josh Wells.

Best of WAYJO 2022 Poster

Tom Salleo - 2022 WAYJO AMD

2023 WAYJO Assistant Music Director Applications Open

Applications extended until Friday 2 December, 2022 - 12.00pm AWST

Proudly supported by the Simon Lee Foundation, the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) Assistant Musical Director program annually offers a mentoring traineeship for a young and emerging musical director.

The program is a unique opportunity to develop skills in conducting a large orchestral band, programming repertoire for an 18-piece big band, and developing the leadership skills required to inspire and enhance the skills and experience of young band members.

Experienced, music reading musicians aged 18 to 35 years during 2023 are invited to apply for this position, which runs at the WAYJO studio in Maylands, Western Australia.

Applications for 2023 WAYJO Assistant Musical Director open 9.00am, Monday 10 October, and close 5.00pm, Monday 28 November, 2022.

Head to for details and application form – there is no cost to apply for this opportunity.

2023 WAYJO AMD Applications

“Training under the MD’s Ricki, Marty, and Mace has been an invaluable experience, which I have tapped into when working with my own bands and projects.

I’ve mostly enjoyed getting to know everyone throughout the year. After months of working and playing together, there’s a real sense of kinship between all the band members and staff alike.

Being a part of WAYJO and building connections with the team (MD’s, office staff, current members, and alumni) has opened up so many exciting career and musical opportunities for me.

I can’t imagine where my path would have led without WAYJO, and I hope to work here again in the future.”

Tom Salleo – 2022 WAYJO Assistant Musical Director


Photograph of Tom Salleo by Josh Wells (2022).

WAYJO presents Celebrating The Greats

WAYJO presents a Big Band Celebration of Jazz Greats

2022 is the 100th birthday celebration of legendary bassist/composer Charles Mingus, and WAYJO’s MinterEllison Monday & St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestras are set to celebrate in big band style October 14 & 15, Downstairs at The Maj.

Several band members from the seminal Count Basie Orchestra line-up of the late 1950s also turn 100. Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis, Joe Newman, Frank Wess and Ernie Wilkins were all born in 1922, contributing iconic arrangements and solos on some of the band’s most famous recordings.

Come along for a night of classic jazz from not one but TWO big bands at His Majesty’s Theatre glorious downstairs bar, with food and beverage table service available. There are numerous public transport options, and FREE night-time parking from 6.00pm at the City of Perth’s His Majesty’s carpark, entry off Murray Street.

As WAYJO’s second last show for the 2022 season, you’d best get friends and family together and book your favourite table soon.

WAYJO presents Celebrating the Greats: 100th Birthday of Basie Band & Charles Mingus
MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra & St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra
Fri 14 & Sat 15 October, 7.30pm
Downstairs at The Maj, Perth

WAYJO also presents a 1-hour Act Belong Commit concert-workshop for schools, Fri 14 October, 1.00pm, Downstairs at The Maj – head to for details.

Celebrating the Greats Poster

WAYJO MNO (2022)

2023 WAYJO Band Auditions Open

2023 WAYJO Band Audition registrations open Monday 19 September for people wishing to participate in the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) in the coming year. Musicians interested in learning jazz performance and improvised big band music, aged 14-25 and able to rehearse in Perth during 2023, are encouraged to apply.

Positions in each of the three big bands are auditioned every year, offering the opportunity to perform at some of Perth’s best venues, work with top band leaders and touring guest artists, plus travel regionally, nationally and internationally. WAYJO also annually commissions original big band works, trains band leaders, and runs pathway educational programs.

A total of fifty-four places are available within three big bands – the MinterEllison Monday, St John of God Health Care Tuesday, and WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestras. All three 18-piece bands each audition for Saxophones (2x Alto, 2x Tenor & 1x Baritone), 4x Trumpets, Trombones (3x Tenor & 1x Bass), 1x Guitar, 1x Bass, 1x Piano, 1x Drum Kit, plus 1x Vocalist.

Running the first two weekends in December, auditions are allocated on a first come first served basis. Aspiring band members are encouraged to register early, as places sold out in previous years.

Auditions and band rehearsals are held at WAYJO’s rehearsal studio in the historic Maylands Hall, located corner Eighth Avenue and Guildford Road. Musicians who cannot attend the December dates can apply through video audition.

At the forefront of forging professional, contemporary big band, ensemble and solo jazz artists since 1983, WAYJO’s impressive alumni includes international jazz luminaries Linda May Han Oh, Dane Alderson, Troy Roberts and Mat Jodrell.

WAYJO celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2023 by continuing to build the future of Australian jazz through outstanding emerging jazz performer, composer and band leader opportunities.

Registrations for 2023 WAYJO Band Auditions close 5.00pm, Friday 18 November only if not filled prior. Visit for all requirements and registration link, but don’t delay if you want to come and play!

Trombone Backbone

WAYJO Slides into Subiaco with a Trombone Showcase

The WAYJO St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra present a special show featuring one of the big band’s oldest instruments, Saturday 17 September, Subiaco Arts Centre.

The trombone, invented mid 15th century, derives its name comes from the Italian tromba (trumpet) plus the suffix -one (big) – meaning big trumpet. The WAYJO TNO will be joined by three of WA’s finest trombonists, who are also WAYJO alumni. Jeremy Greig, Catherine Noblet and Will Pethick all served in different eras of WAYJO, coming together for one night only to showcase the instrument.

Jeremy Greig on Trombone

Jeremy Greig is a trombonist, diploma of music co-ordinator and lecturer in Jazz at WAAPA. He has a Bachelor of music from Edith Cowan University and a master of Music from University of Miami. He has lived and performed in the USA and performed with the likes of Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Barry Gibb (Bee Gees), Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme, Don Rickles, Wayne Newton, and Wynton Marsalis.

Catherine Noblet on Trombone

Catherine Noblet is an Australian jazz trombonist from Perth. A WAAPA graduate, she has studied and worked as a freelance musician in Perth and the US. She completed her Master of Music at the University of Illinois, studying with legendary trombonist, Jim Pugh. She now resides in Perth as a freelance musician and a regular member of the Mace Francis Orchestra, Straight Ahead Big Band, Amnesiacs, and The Western Australian Jazz Project.

Will Pethick, Trombone

Will Pethick was a member of WAYJO in 2021 who previously studied at the James Morrison Academy in South Australia. Selected to be a part of the Australian National Youth Jazz Orchestra last year, Will performed with Will Vinson in the 2021 Sydney Con Jazz Festival. Now back in Perth, he performs locally with The Western Australian Jazz Project, Perth Symphony Orchestra and more.

Trombones are the backbone of the big band, providing the harmonic foundation, the brassy punch and the guts of the band. Come along and enjoy this ‘sackbut’ showcase – an instrument Beethoven once described as “The voice of God” – you be the judge!

Guest artists appear thanks to WAYJO’s 2022 Major Programs Partner, Minderoo Foundation.

WAYJO presents The Trombone: Big Band Backbone
St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra, plus trombonists Jeremy Greig, Catherine Noblet & Will Pethick
Sat 17 September, 7.30pm
Subiaco Arts Centre, Subiaco

WAYJO also present a 1-hour Act Belong Commit concert-workshop for schools, Fri 16 September, 6.30pm, at Prendiville Catholic College in Ocean Reef – head to for details.

Hashtags: #WAYJO2022 #SubiJazz #Trombone

Photography: B&W WAYJO Trombones (2021) & Jeremy Greig by Josh Wells – Catherine Noblet by Deprimo – Will Pethick by WAAPA

Media Contact:
Justine Thornley, WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950

Trombone Backbone Poster

WAYJO TNO - photo Josh Wells

2022 WAYJO Act Belong Commit TNO Regional Tour

The WAYJO St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra (TNO) head to Albany and York 21-26 September to deliver workshops at several schools, plus two free community concerts.

Directed by Ricki Malet, the band perform jazz, blues and Latin classics. From Basie through to Bossa Nova, and Billie Holiday to Bob Mintzer, let WAYJO's TNO entertain you with all the big band greats from the 1950s through to today.

Come along for free community shows in Albany and also York as part of the 2022 York Festival Jazz Weekend.

Albany Entertainment Centre
Friday 23 September, 7.00pm – free entry only with tickets from

York Festival Jazz Weekend @ The Imperial Hotel
Sunday 25 September, 1.00pm – free entry, festival information

For more information about WAYJO's regional touring program, head to

WAYJO’s Regional Touring program is supported by Healthway promoting the Act Belong Commit message.

St John of God HealthCare     


Hashtags: #WAYJO2022 #WAYJOregional #ActBelongCommit
Photograph: 2021 WAYJO TNO by Josh Wells

Media Contact:
Justine Thornley, WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950

WAYJO TNO - photo Josh Wells

WAYJO NC 2022 with John Morrison

WAYJO NC Celebrates First Birthday with Two Great Concerts

Happy 1st Birthday WAYJO NC!

The WAYJO NC, training band for the Northern Corridor, started midway through 2021. Despite being amid a pandemic, enthusiasm for this new band was high.

WAYJO NC Program Coordinator Adrian Hicks wanted to give an opportunity to students in the Northern Suburbs of Perth to learn and explore playing Big Band Jazz. “Many schools, struggle to provide these types of opportunities to their students as they simply don’t have the numbers” says Adrian.

Enter WAYJO, Minderoo Foundation, and the start of a wonderful collaboration.

A year on and the band has now developed into a full-size big band with skills to participate in its first WA Schools Jazz Band Festival this month. To give the best opportunity for the students to learn it was suggested to share MD duties term-by-term and so far the members have had with other WAYJO Alumni Alex Parkinson and Jess Herbert, both of which have used their expertise to improve the musical outcomes of the ensemble.

The band has also had some special workshops such as when WAYJO TNO, directed by Marty Pervan, joined a rehearsal to give the students an experience they would never forget – two big bands in one room! Recently, John Morrison also provided the players with his many years of experience too.

Band Members have really grown and developed their ensemble and sight-reading skills and over the past year. Some had never improvised, read jazz music, or played together in this style of band before – and now, not only has their confidence grown they have started to make lifelong friendships.

It is a real treat to see this develop before our eyes. All in all, a jam-packed inaugural year for Perth’s newest young Big Band.

Catch the WAYJO NC upcoming performance in August and September;

2022 WA Schools Jazz Festival
Sunday 14 August
WA Academy of Performing Arts (ECU) – Edith Spiegeltent
Tickets only at the venue

The Trombone: Big Band Backbone – Act Belong Commit Concert
Friday 16 September
Prendiville Catholic College – Redmond Theatre
Tickets through WAYJO

You can find out more and get involved at – plus check out our other Act Belong Commit concerts

WAYJO NC is part of WAYJO’s Pathways Education Program, supported by Healthway promoting the Act Belong Commit message, and our Major Partner Minderoo Foundation