Make Mother’s Day with Jazz at The Maj – Oh, Lady Be Good!

The WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) are excited to return to His Majesty’s Theatre for 2021.

Opening a season of three Jazz at The Maj shows for the year, Oh, Lady Be Good makes a songful entrance Downstairs at The Maj 7-8 Mayjust in time for the Mother’s Day weekend.

Take a Quickstep back into a bygone era of style and glamour! Join special guest vocalist Victoria Newton (WAYJO member 1987-89), the WAYJO Tuesday Night Orchestra plus all three of the big band vocalists, for this showcase of beloved big band vocal repertoire.

Victoria has serenaded audiences across the world with her style, technique and humour. Now head of jazz voice at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, she’s worked the London jazz scene, collaborated with Acid-Jazz legend the late Ronny Jordan, and supported Terence Blanchard at the Jazz Café with her quartet.

Enjoy this show at the historic Greenwich Club site – now Downstairs at The Maj – nestled beneath Perth’s iconic His Majesty’s Theatre. Escape the hustle and bustle of the CBD to indulge in the relaxed and revamped Downstairs Bar, with cosy cabaret-style seating, plus fascinating foyer displays from the Museum of Performing Arts Collection.

WAYJO’s last show at The Maj was a sell-out, so best book those tickets soon - and don’t forget to treat Mum too!

You can subscribe & save $10 per adult priced ticket by purchasing all three WAYJO Jazz at The Maj shows in the same transaction; 7-8 May: Oh, Lady Be Good | 11-12 June: Basie & Beyond | 6-7 August: The Golden Age of Swing - head to

Victoria appears thanks to WAYJO’s 2021 Major Programs Partner, Minderoo Foundation.

What people are saying about Victoria;
“A fabulous strong clear voice with a great sense of time and an even greater sense of fun!” - Steve Rubie, 606 Club, London
“Deeply into the music, a real jazz singer” - Brian Blain, Jazz UK
“A jazz singer a cut above the crowd” - John Fordham, The Guardian, UK

Hashtags: #WAYJO2021 #JazzAtTheMaj #OhLadyBeGood

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


WAYJO presents Oh Lady Be Good, 7-8 May. Tickets

WAYJO Act Belong Commit Regional Tour 2021 presents Basie & Beyond

** Our South West Regional Tour shows 5 & 7 of May are at ticketed, seated venues - so will be going ahead **

Please remember to wear a mask until 12.01am Saturday 8 May, and check-in to the COVID-19 Contact Register at the venue.

Keep up with all the latest official advisories at the website.

WAYJO are coming to Margaret River HEART, Wednesday 5th May – and Bunbury BREC, Friday 7th May – for two free community concerts for all the family.

Let the WAYJO MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra take you on a bold jazz journey from Basie and into the big band beyond…

Enjoy classic big band repertoire, artfully paired with reinvented contemporary jazz standards, plus premiere exciting commissions by WAYJO’s alumni composer Alana Macpherson on her recent return from Austria.

Due to the year that was 2020, our band members have been retained into 2021. Because of this, our MNO is now a tight knit musical family, performing bigger and better than ever before!

There’s something for all contemporary and jazz music fans in this bold big band program that’s simply not to be missed. WAYJO have travelled nearly 300km to play before a audiences in the South West – so don’t miss out!

WAYJO thanks Healthway Act Belong Commit for supporting our Regional Touring program.

PLEASE NOTE: these are FREE community concerts with admission for ticket holders only as venue numbers are restricted.

Wed 5 May, 7.30pm
Margaret River HEART
47 Wallcliffe Rd, Margaret River
Limited Free tickets only from – (08) 9780 5294.

Fri 7 May, 7.30pm
Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre (BREC)
2 Blair St, Bunbury
Limited Free tickets only from – 1300 661 272.

Hashtags: #WAYJO2021 #WAYJOregional #ActBelongCommit #BasieAndBeyond

Jump into Jazz at the 2021 WAYJO Season Launch

Since 1983, the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) has been at the forefront of Australia’s emerging jazz performers, conductors and composers. The 2021 season offering is no exception, bringing together traditional and contemporary jazz to familiar venues Downstairs at The Maj and The Quarry Amphitheatre, and introducing new vibes at The Rechabite and Lyric’s Lane.

This bold program showcases the MinterEllison Monday, plus Tuesday and Wednesday Night Orchestras, demonstrating the versatile possibilities of the big band format. It is a season with something for everyone, spanning traditional repertoire at The Golden Age of Swing in August, through to an upbeat dancing selection at A Latin Explosion in September.

WAYJO are also proud to present commissioned work by alumni Kate Pass in a world music collaboration with Kate Pass and the Kohesia Ensemble, presenting a Persian spin on big band music in July.

Freshly commissioned big band and jazz ensemble works also spring to life at The Modern Masters show in October, with internationally renowned saxophonist, and Associate Dean of Music at WAAPA, Dr Jamie Oehlers.

The season closes in November at The Quarry Amphitheatre in an awe-inspiring collaboration with the WAAPA Jazz and Gospel Choirs.

2021 promises tight knit ensemble work in a bold season of shows from March to November. Tickets will be on sale to the public from 10.00am, Monday 29 March.

WAYJO invites you to Jump in to Jazz in a season launch at the Lyric Lane Block Party, Saturday 27 March from 4.00pm. Get there early to secure a spot, grab a season brochure, and be among the first to witness the 2021 line-ups. This is a Free Community Event at a licensed venue; 18+ with ID or minors to be accompanied by guardians.

For more information, please visit

Hashtags: #WAYJO2021 #WAYJOBlockParty


Justine ThornleyWAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950

Mace FrancisWAYJO Artistic Director
+61 8 9471 1950


WAYJO thanks continuing Government Partner, the Department of Local Government, Sport, and Cultural Industries, Lotterywest, Principal Partner North West Shelf Gas, Major Programs Partner Minderoo Foundation, Monday Night Orchestra Naming Rights Partner MinterEllison, St John of God Healthcare and Healthway Act Belong Commit.


Young Women in Jazz 2019

WAYJO Celebrate 7-Years of 'Young Women in Jazz' for International Women’s Day

Celebrating a return for its seventh year in Western Australia, WAYJO’s Young Women in Jazz (YWIJ) is an 8-week workshop program open to female identifying instrumentalists aged 14 - 25 who have an interest in jazz and improvised music.

Starting May 1, Saturday afternoon workshops are conducted at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (on the ECU Mt Lawley campus) in small groups by leading female educators, WAYJO Alumnae, plus special guest artists. The workshops culminate in a public concert at the Ellington Jazz Club, giving all participants the chance to explore their newly found skills before an audience in a professional venue.

“In the short time this course has been running we've seen a number of participants go onto successfully audition for the three WAYJO bands, plus audition and graduate for the WAAPA jazz course. We've had amazing guest artists in the past, and this year is no exception with pianist Sue Bluck and saxophonist Alana Macpherson joining us” states program coordinator Gemma Farrell.

“This course suits young women who are new to improvisation, plus more experienced musicians wanting to add to their skill set. It provides young, female identifying people with the opportunity to meet, rehearse, and learn in a judgement-free space, and as a result, we've already seen more women going on to study jazz. Young Women in Jazz is helping to address the gender imbalance in the Perth jazz scene, and is integral for the future of our scene."

Registrations for Young Women in Jazz 2021 do not require audition, and close Friday 30 April, 2021 at 5.00pm AWST.

For more information about WAYJO’s Young Women in Jazz  program, please visit

WAYJO acknowledges program partners SIMA (Sydney Improvised Music Association), St John of God Health Care, and venue support from the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (Edith Cowan University).

The WAYJO Education Program is supported by Healthway promoting the Act Belong Commit message.

Media Link:

Hashtags: #WAYJO2021 #YoungWomenInJazz #ActBelongCommit #IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge


Click to download printable PDF poster
Click to download printable PDF poster


Gemma Farrell
WAYJO YWIJ Program Coordinator
+61 8 9471 1950

Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950

2021 WAYJO Composer Residencies Open

2021 WAYJO Composer Residencies Open

Since its launch in 2008, the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) Composer in Residence program has commissioned new frontiers in jazz ensemble works from emerging Australian composers.

Annually offering young writers generous commissions and artistic mentorship to develop fresh jazz works for new audiences, while enhancing arranging and conducting skills, WAYJO supports two emerging composers to develop works, between 6-8 minutes in length, for 18-piece big band.

The $2K Associate and $4k Composer residency programs are run under the guidance of WAYJO’s Artistic Director, Dr Mace Francis (winner – 2015 APRA/AMCOS Jazz Work of the Year and international Scrivere in Jazz prize; finalist – Freedman Jazz Fellowship; 2017 Prelude Gallop House Composer Residency).

“The opportunity to write for a regularly rehearsing big band is one that does not come along too often” states Dr Mace Francis. “It allows you to write with courage and try bold and challenging ideas. Each of the young composers who have participated in this program have gone on to create great bands, recordings, and contributed their voice to the Australian jazz scene.”

This is a rare opportunity for composers to create new music for a big band without major creative restrictions or boundaries. Forward thinking, creative ways in which to utilise a big band’s instrumentation, personnel and skills (as largely doubling instrumentalists), are all openly encouraged to help the art form move forward.

Previous recipients around Australia include Rafael Karlen (QLD), Alice Humphries (WA), Jenna Cave (NSW), Andrew Murray (VIC), Brodie McAllister (QLD), Elliott Hughes (VIC), Tim Newhouse (WA), Rafael Jerjen (NSW), Joshua Hatcher (QLD), Scott van Gemert (VIC), and Des Cannings (NSW).

Applications open 9.00am Monday 8 March, 2021 - and close Friday 30 April, 2021 at 5.00pm AWST.

For more information about WAYJO’s composer in residence program and commissioning, please visit


WAYJO Management Vacancies

The WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) are currently advertising two management positions.
Links to apply for these roles are publicly available from

WAYJO General Manager

Applications are sought from suitably qualified and experienced candidates to fill the role of General Manager.

Responsible for overall financial and strategic performance, this will be an on-going, full-time position subject to an initial 3-month probationary period.

Demonstrated leadership, communication, advocacy skills, a broad understanding of business development, fundraising and revenue generation in the arts industry, as well as knowledge of the not-for-profit arts sector, are required.

Please direct any queries to WAYJO Board Chair Simon Durack –

Applications for General Manager close Monday 8 March, 2021 at 9.00am AWST.


WAYJO Events & Logistics Manager

WA Youth Jazz Orchestra is seeking an Events and Logistics Manager. This part-time role, reporting to the General Manager, is responsible for managing all logistics of the three WAYJO bands, including event preparation, venue booking, regional tour coordination and more.

The role would suit applicants with experience in the music and arts industry with skills in administration and/or event production.

Please direct any queries to WAYJO General Manager Simon Keen –

Applications for Events & Logistics Manager close Monday 15 March, 2021 at 9.00am AWST.

WAYJO Announces the Resignation of General Manager

WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) announces the resignation of its General Manager, Simon Keen.

Since joining WAYJO some five years ago, Mr Keen has brought energy and passion to the role, growing the profile and reach of WAYJO considerably. WAYJO now holds an important position not just in Perth’s jazz scene and as part of the wider arts sector, poised for further growth as WAYJO looks toward its 40th Anniversary in 2023.

Outgoing WAYJO General Manager Simon Keen
Outgoing WAYJO General Manager Simon Keen

Mr Keen states, “I am very proud of what WAYJO has achieved during my tenure and humbled by the ongoing service we have been able to provide to our outstanding young musicians. Some personal highlights have included the introduction of our Jazz for Juniors program of concerts, the King Street Corner Pocket Jazz Festival, our commitment to featuring more female instrumentalists as part of our Guest Artist series, and our increasing presence in regional touring and representation. I am looking forwards to facing new challenges in my career and I wish WAYJO every success in the future. I thank the Board and staff for their support.”

Mr Simon Durack, Board Chair of WAYJO said that, “On behalf of the Board, I wish to sincerely thank Mr Keen for his achievements and dedicated service to WAYJO, and wish him all the very best for his future endeavours.”

The board will announce details regarding a new appointment in early 2021.

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


Introducing WAYJO Club

With the year is divided into two separate semester programs - WAYJO have a limited number of registrations available for the second semester.

Second semester registrations open 9.00am Tuesday 1 June 2021, and close 5.00pm Tuesday 20 July 2021 – only if not filled prior (as places are limited)!

Join WAYJO Club Semester 2

The West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) will not be holding band auditions for 2021. COVID-19 caused the loss of rehearsal and performance opportunities through most of 2020, so WAYJO has offered 2020 band members continuation into 2021.

Instead we welcome to WAYJO Club, an exciting new opportunity for aspiring instrumentalists and vocalists, aged 12-18 years during 2021, to learn about and participate in jazz music making with WAYJO in a social and inclusive setting.

There will be NO AUDITION required to take part, WAYJO Club is open to all young musicians with a basic understanding of music.

WAYJO Club is a program that will give you access to networks, resources, content, open rehearsals and jazz day-camps. These will be delivered March-June & August-November as a combination of both online and in-person sessions (pandemic advisories permitting).

The year is divided into two separate semester programs – so you can choose to participate for a single semester, or book the full year in advance to enjoy a discount;


  • March 2: Online Resources Sent
  • April 6: Online Resources Sent
  • April 11: Jazz Camp
  • April 14: Invitation to an open rehearsal with the Wednesday Night Orchestra
  • May 4: Online Resources Sent
  • May 11: Invitation to an open rehearsal with the Tuesday Night Orchestra
  • June 1: Online Resources Sent
  • June 20: Jazz Camp


  • August 3: Online Resources Sent
  • September 7: Online Resources Sent
  • September 12: Jazz Camp
  • September 20: Invitation to an open rehearsal with the Monday Night Orchestra
  • October 5: Online Resources Sent
  • October 17: Jazz Camp and Audition Preparation
  • November 2: Online Resources Sent
  • November 17: Invitation to an open rehearsal with the Wednesday Night Orchestra


  • Single Semester: $150 (plus $9.34 booking fee)
  • Full Year: $250 (plus $15.93 booking fee)

WAYJO Club semester 1 and full-year registrations open 9.00am Wednesday 18 November 2020, and close 5.00pm Monday 15 February 2021 – if not filled prior. Participants are limited to 50 per semester.


WAYJO’s Education Program is supported by Healthway promoting the Act Belong Commit message


WAYJO Club is also supported by Major Programs Partner Minderoo Foundation

Join WAYJO Club


WAYJO Visits Abmusic

Wednesday 7 October WAYJO visited Abmusic to present a workshop on the concepts of jazz performance and improvisation. A trio, made up of Luke Geha (piano), Kieran Barnes (bass) and Cameron Fermoyle (drums), performed for the students and discussed the different roles in the jazz ensemble.

There was a really healthy and interesting discussion on the roles of each instrument, how band members interact, and rhythmic concepts in jazz. Many of the students come from an electronic music or hip hop background, so this was the first time experiencing live jazz for some.

"Feedback from our participants has been overwhelming, particularly with regard to musical communication" said Abmusic's CEO Patricia Alessi. "The participants trialled musical communication in their next rehearsal, and they found it to be incredibly helpful to ‘try what the jazz musicians did.’ Other comments from the workshop included, ‘Amazing!’ and ‘Mind-blowing!’ It is really changing how the musicians ‘talk’ to each other in rehearsals and performances... it has opened them up to a new soundworld."

WAYJO thanks Abmusic for the opportunity to visit the campus, and look forward to jamming & yarning about jazz again soon.

For more information about Abmusic, check out . You can visit the campus for NAIDOC Day Celebrations, 11am-3pm Wednesday 11 November. Enjoy live music, stalls, goodie bags, plus tours and information about their music and beauty courses. Abmusic are located close to Curtin University - 295 Manning Rd Waterford, on Clontarf Campus.

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020, we encourage you to check out this and many of the other events happening 8-15 November by visiting

abmusic naidoc day 2020

Linda May Han Oh - Bass

'Oh So Exciting' New Works presented by WAYJO at Perth International Jazz Festival 2020

The WAYJO MinterEllison Monday, plus Tuesday & Wednesday Night Orchestras, are proud to be part of the eight annual Perth International Jazz Festival (PIJF).

Enjoy free community concerts in Hyde Park with WAYJO MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra Sun 8 Nov, 2.45pm, and WAYJO Tuesday Night Orchestra, 4.00pm.

On her temporary return from the US, the Wednesday Night Orchestra are thrilled to perform with none other than highly acclaimed international bass player, and WAYJO alumni, Linda May Han Oh - currently of Pat Metheny Quartet.

Linda performs her newly composed works for the WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestra at The Rechabite Sun 8 Nov, 4.00pm. Linda appears thanks to WAYJO’s 2020 Guest Artist Partner, the Minderoo Foundation. Tickets for this show are available from Moshtix.

PIJF 2020 runs 6-8 November. Head to for the full program and ticketing, and while you're there, consider saving with a 3-Show Pass for ticketed events booked in a single online transaction.

#perthjazzfest #WAYJO2020