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).

Media Link:

Hashtags: #WAYJO2021 #YoungWomenInJazz #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 MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra 2019

WAYJO Announces 2020 Sponsor a Seat Opportunity

Sponsor a Seat

Give the gift of music by sponsoring one of Perth’s finest young jazz musicians.

For over 35 years, the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra has been an integral part of Perth’s cultural landscape. WAYJO has been at the forefront of forging professional, contemporary big band, ensemble and solo jazz artists since 1983, with an impressive alumna including international jazz luminaries Linda May Han Oh, Dane Alderson, Troy Roberts and Mat Jodrell.

WAYJO is a unique, not-for-profit organisation, showcasing 54 rising stars across not one but three big bands, each with a unique focus on their own eras of jazz repertoire, including bold new Australian works annually commissioned by the orchestra.

15 saxophonists; 12 trumpeters; 12 trombonists; plus 3 guitarists, pianists, bassist, drummers and vocalists, are all auditioned annually for each highly coveted seat. WAYJO musicians have the opportunity to hone skills by working with professional musical directors, to perform in Perth’s top venues, work with high calibre guest artists, take part in international exchanges, all while forming professional relationships that can last a lifetime.

Performing at community and corporate events, touring regionally and offering school concerts and workshops, these musicians are dedicated to their craft, and work towards reaching their greatest potential as early-career musicians, and contributors to society.

WAYJO contributes approximately $12,000 per seat in developing each of its 54 band members annually, with Government funding covering less than 15%.

Sponsoring a Seat brings much needed funds, while offering a personal connection with one of our talented musicians throughout the year. By supporting a performer, you directly share in the growth your contribution makes.

$500 Orchestra Seat Sponsors, paid one off or in quarterly instalments; all benefit with:

  • two complimentary tickets to a WAYJO performance, the first at the beginning of the year and the second at the end of the year, so you can experience the amazing transformation our programs make to artists;
  • the chance to meet your sponsored orchestra member during interval at a WAYJO performance;
  • invitation to a WAYJO open rehearsal, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make the music;
  • a short, personalised thank you video from the WAYJO musician you have sponsored;
  • a personalised thank you letter from our Artistic Director, Mace Francis, at the start of the year, outlining the annual program;
  • two letters from the corresponding band’s Music Director, outlining the progress of the band in June, and sharing their band’s successes at the end of the year;
  • optional recognition as an Orchestra Seat Sponsor in the WAYJO season brochure, on the WAYJO website, and on social media.

This is your chance to be a real part of WAYJO, and leave a lasting legacy with one of Western Australia’s longest lived and vibrant arts companies.

For more information on how you can help support this unique organisation and the opportunities it provides, please visit


Hashtags: #WAYJO2020 #SponsorASeat

WAYJO MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra
WAYJO MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra at the Quarry Amphitheatre. Photograph by Rick Mason (2019).

King St Corner Pocket Festival 2020 Applications

In line with Government directions on the COVID-19 pandemic, WAYJO cancelled all public activities and rehearsals from 23 March until public gathering restrictions are lifted.

Tickets for all cancelled events will be refunded.

To maintain required physical distancing, WAYJO staff are not in the office at present, but working from home and still available via email.

If you are concerned about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we encourage you to take a look at our resources page, including official links such as on how best to avoid infection or spread, plus mental health resources from Beyond Blue.

This is a difficult time for WAYJO, and we would greatly appreciate, if you are able, any donation to help us through the current situation. Please visit for ways in which you can support our work.

We are looking forward to being back with our programs when safe, and hope that you continue to be part of our family of supporters and friends. See you at a WAYJO event as soon as we can!

King St Corner Pocket Festival 2020 Call Out for Performers

Perth and Western Australia host some of the most outstanding jazz talent in the country. King St Corner Pocket showcases these exceptional local artists, emerging and established, in a fun filled 3 night festival, where you don’t have to walk more than 50 meters to discover a new sound.

The Festival, now in its third consecutive year, runs Thursday 30 July to Saturday 1 August in Perth.

Over fifty 45-50 minute performance slots are on offer for local improvised and jazz musical acts to perform at His Majesty’s Theatre, plus other exciting activated venues in and around King Street.

West Australian based performers interested in performing at the festival can apply from Tuesday 18 February, 9.00am. Applications close Friday 20 March 2020, 5.00pm AWST.

Applicants will be notified application outcomes by mid-April, with the full festival line up announcement in May.

King Street Corner Pocket Jazz Festival is supported by the City of Perth.

For more information about the King Street Corner Pocket Jazz Festival, please visit


2020 Festival Partners

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Des Cannings

2020 WAYJO Composer Residencies Announced

Now in its 13th year, the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence program has annually supported two emerging composers to develop new works for a large jazz ensemble, offering both generous commission fees and artistic mentorship.

This year we had a large number of applications which makes the decisions very difficult. This is a good indication that jazz composition is still alive and well in this country, especially seeing the quality of the submissions.

However, only two composers could be selected to fill the Associate Composer in Residence and the Composer in Residence positions. They were chosen based on their previous work, education, and proposed ideas for the commission.

WAAPA composition graduate Maddie Ivy from WA was successful as the 2020 WAYJO Associate Composer in Residence.

Maddy has a great grasp on orchestration and craft, as well as creative ways of using the big band and a variety of genres and musical settings.

Des Cannings from NSW will be the 2020 WAYJO Composer in Residence.

Des’s skill and craft in writing for big band instrumentation and respect for the tradition was displayed in his previous work. Des hopes to push his concepts of melodic development and creative form in ways he has not previously been able to do.

The WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestra will premier and record these young composer’s exciting new works at the 2020 King St Corner Pocket Jazz Festival, running 30 July to 1 August.

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


Des Cannings - WAYJO 2020 Composer in Residence
Des Cannings - 2020 WAYJO Composer in Residence


Maddie Ivy - 2020 WAYJO Associate Composer in Residence



Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950

Mace Francis
WAYJO Artistic Director
+61 8 9471 1950

2020 Young Women in Jazz Registrations Open

WAYJO is calling for female identifying instrumentalist aged 14 to 25, interested in playing or studying jazz or improvised music, to take part in workshops to collaborate and learn with fellow female musicians.

Young Women in Jazz is an 8-week series of Saturday workshops, commencing 2 May 2020. Conducted in small groups with leading guest artists, educators and WAYJO Alumnae, these workshops build support networks, refine skills and increase performer confidence.

This year’s special guest tutors include the international multi-award winning vocalist Kristin Berardi, and legendary pianist/composer Judy Bailey.

A final public performance, held at the Ellington Jazz Club on Sunday 21 June, will showcase the participants newly acquired skills in a professional jazz venue setting.

Run in Perth since 2014, and developed in 2002 by Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) and Dr. Sandy Evans OAM, the Young Women’s Jazz Workshops are specifically designed to inspire young women to play jazz and pursue a future in music.

WAYJO acknowledges program partners SIMA (Sydney Improvised Music Association) as well as St John of God Health Care for their continued support of the program here in Western Australia.

Registrations for the 2020 Young Women in Jazz Program open Friday 20 December, 2019 and close Friday 24 April, 2020.

For more information about the Young Women in Jazz program, or to register, please visit 



Gemma Farrell
Young Women in Jazz Program Coordinator

Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950


Young Women in Jazz 2019
2019 Young Women in Jazz Participants

2020 WAYJO Internship

Looking to gain experience behind the scenes in the arts sector, or know someone who might be?

WAYJO is on the hunt for an intern for 2020! Our internships provide hands on experience in how a busy arts organisation runs.

WAYJO runs roughly 50 events per year including a major festival, international exchange programs, school workshops and performances, regional tours and corporate performances.

If you are enthusiastic about the arts, organised and think you have something to offer WAYJO, then please send Jess an email at by 5pm, Wednesday 22 January, 2020.

Ideally we are looking for people with some experience in Photoshop or InDesign, studying Marketing or Administration, and have a passion for the arts. As a bonus, our intern has the opportunity to see performances and gain important networks in the arts industry.

* Please note this is an unpaid Internship, with up to one day a week workload *


- Photo by Josh Wells

WAYJO 2020 Composer in Residence Applications Open

The WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) is offering two young jazz composers paid, professional development opportunities to develop new works and enhance music writing and conducting skills. Such opportunities are rarely offered in Australia.

WAYJO continues to support composers and generate original Australian content through its unique Composer-in-Residence program, presented for the twelfth consecutive year in 2020.

WAYJO's Composer in Residence program annually supports two young, emerging composers to develop new works for large jazz ensemble, offering both generous commission fees and artistic mentorship.

The program is run under the guidance of WAYJO’s Artistic Director, Dr Mace Francis (winner – APRA/AMCOS Jazz Work of the Year and international Scrivere in Jazz prize; finalist – Freedman Jazz Fellowship; nominee – Jazz ‘Bell’ Awards).

"Working with talented young Australian composers to bring their new works to life is a highlight in the WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestra calendar. I am always amazed at what young people can create when they work together in a safe, focused and creative space. I look forward to hearing what is created again in 2020." - Dr Mace Francis.


COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE is open to any jazz composer aged 30 years or younger (as at 1st January 2020), residing in Australia. $4,000 is offered to develop three new, original compositions. Flights and accommodation included (unless a resident of the Perth metropolitan area).

ASSOCIATE COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE is open to any jazz composer aged 21 years or younger (as at 1st January 2020), residing in Western Australia. $2,000 is offered the Associate to develop two new, original compositions.

Both positions offer professional advice and mentoring, opportunities to rehearse and perform with WAYJO’s premier 18-piece big band, and an opportunity to premier the works at the 2020 King St Corner Pocket Jazz Festival.

This program is open to all Australian composers (citizens and permanent residents). Successful applicants will be required to compose the works (each six to eight minutes in duration) by Monday June 8, 2020, for performance by the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra Wednesday Night Orchestra.


Applications open Monday 18 November, 2019 and close Friday 17 January, 2020 at 5.00pm AWST. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 24 January, 2020.

Please Note: The WAYJO offices will be closed for the holidays Friday 20 December, 2019 to Wednesday 8 January, 2020.

Find Out More

For more information, please visit, or contact the WAYJO office during business hours on +61 8 9471 1950.


2019 Composer in Residence Scott van Gemert leading his work at 2019 King St Corner Pocket Jazz Festival - Photos by Eliza Cowling.


Media Contact

Justine Thornley, WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950

WAYJO 2019-20 Associate Music Director Appointment

After a public call-out and rigorous selection process, the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) is proud to announce Christopher Musitano has been selected as Associate Music Director for 2019-20, commencing September.

Proudly supported by the Simon Lee Foundation, the Assistant Music Director program offers a mentoring traineeship for a young and emerging musical director. The program is a rare opportunity for emerging band leaders to develop skills in conducting a large orchestral band, programming repertoire for an 18-piece big band, and develop the leadership skills required to inspire and enhance the skills and experience of band members.

WAYJO’s Artistic Director Dr Mace Francis selected Chris from a strong field of applications. “Chris has spent a long time with WAYJO as a musician, coming up through all the bands. This experience as Assistant Music Director will give Chris another perspective and set of skills he can take to his teaching and into the industry. We congratulate Chris on this appointment and welcome him back to the WAYJO family.”

Chris, who performed with WAYJO for 8-years, brings substantial knowledge and experience to the role, with a BA in Music Studies and Specialist Music Studies, and BMus (Hons) in Music - Jazz Performance.

“I applied for the role as I had seen the opportunities and growth that this position has allowed for those who have previously held it, especially during my time as a player in WAYJO. Getting to be on the conductor’s side of a band such as WAYJO is an opportunity not to be missed.”

“In addition to getting the experience of directing a big band, I am hoping that the position of Assistant Music Director opens me up to lots of new music and sounds that I haven’t heard before. Getting to hear new composers and players will allow me to better inform my own composing, teaching, and playing which will, in turn, help me to take on this position to the best of my ability.”

“I believe that WAYJO is an important musical institution in the Perth music scene as it fosters young talent while opening up young musicians to opportunities and music that they might not be exposed to in high school or university. Speaking personally, it helped and allowed me to grow in skill as a player, to meet and eventually play music with new friends, and fostered a love of jazz and big band music that then informed the direction of my career.”

“I think this position is important because it not only gives experience in running a band, but also gives those who have previously played in the band an opportunity to give back to the organization who helped them to get there in the first place.”

Applications for this paid traineeship position are invited annually. Head to, and subscribe to WAYJO eNews, to stay informed about all upcoming opportunities within the orchestras and organisation.

Chris Musitano (26) - WAYJO Associate Musical Director 2019-20.

#WAYJO2019 #MusicTraineeship

Media Contact
Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
+61 (0)8 9471 1950