WAYJO’s 40th Anniversary Weekend

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
SOLD OUT

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


WAYJO's 40th Anniversary Concert & Festival

You’re invited to the jazz party of the year as 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.

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


40th Anniversary Concert

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.

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

BOOK TICKETS

40th Anniversary Festival

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.

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

BOOK TICKETS


WAYJO's 40th Anniversary Season Launch Block Party

WAYJO is celebrating our 40th anniversary this year, and we’re throwing a free Season Launch Block Party to get the festivities started!

Join us at Lyric Lane in Maylands for performances from all three big bands; MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra, St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra, and Wednesday Night Orchestra.

As well as their swinging sounds, you’ll hear all about our 2023 program, learn about our guest artist touring program, and be the first to know about our upcoming 40th year two-day festival.

We can’t wait to welcome you to the launch of our fourth decade as Australia’s leading youth jazz orchestra!

WAYJO’s 40th Anniversary Season Launch Block Party 2023
3 – 5pm, Sun 5 March 2023
Free event – all invited!

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.


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!


The Best of WAYJO 2022 is selling fast - book soon!

The Best of WAYJO 2022 - SELLING FAST

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

With three big bands presenting all their favourites from the year, tickets represent exceptional value for a fantastic show of diverse jazz to suit everyone’s taste.

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 soon!

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 a picnic hamper, and enjoy a jazz picnic under the stars with friends and family.

Tickets this year are General Admission, so please arrive early for your favourite spot!
Gates 6.30pm
Show 7.30pm

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.

 

Photograph Josh Wells (2021 WAYJO Quarry Amphitheatre show)

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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 wayjo.com 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
Tickets wayjo.com

 

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

WAYJO presents Celebrating The Greats

Celebrating The Greats: 100th Birthday of Basie Band & Charles Mingus

2022 is the 100th birthday celebration of bassist/composer Charles Mingus. 

Several band members from the seminal Count Basie Orchestra lineup 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 their most famous recordings.

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Please note – WAYJO also present a 1-hour daytime schools concert-workshop;

Celebrating the Greats – Act Belong Commit Concert
Fri 14 October, 1.00pm
Downstairs at The Maj, Perth


WAYJO presents Celebrating The Greats

Celebrating The Greats – Act Belong Commit Concert

2022 is the 100th birthday celebration of bassist/composer Charles Mingus. 

Several band members from the seminal Count Basie Orchestra lineup 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 their most famous recordings.

WAYJO’s school concerts and workshops are purpose built for school students to experience big band jazz in a relaxed environment, with experiences designed to bring concepts from the classroom to life.

Students and teachers will be given behind the scenes insights into jazz composition and performance, with ample opportunity to ask questions of our professional Music Directors and orchestra members.

Act Belong Commit Concert Workshop: Celebrating The Greats
WAYJO MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra

Fri 14 October, 1.00pm

Tickets to our popular 1-hour school concert-workshops are just $15 (+bf) per student or teacher/parent – plus receive 1 complimentary ticket per 9 purchased!

To book school shows, phone group bookings at Arts and Culture Trust on 6212 9291 or email groups@artsculturetrust.wa.gov.au

 

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


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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
Tickets artsculturetrust.wa.gov.au/wayjo

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

Celebrating the Greats Poster

Taint What You Do

‘Taint What You Do brings back the charm and splendour of live dance band evenings.

This relaxed Sunday evening show is perfect for dancers of all ages and families to enjoy classic jazz with the WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestra, and MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra.

Dress up and step out in style on this amazing wooden floor, along with the local swing dancing community!

 

Photograph Josh Wells

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