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 Seasons Greetings 2022

Happy Holidays from WAYJO

The WA Youth Jazz Orchestra office closes for the holidays Friday 16 December, returning Monday 9 January, 2023.

The staff and board of WAYJO would like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters throughout 2022, and wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday period.

Some ways to jazz up the holidays;


2022 WAYJO Supporters
2022 WAYJO Sponsors

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

2022 WAYJO AMD Tom Salleo

2022 WAYJO Assistant Musical Director Appointment

The WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) is proud to announce Tom Salleo has been appointed Associate Music Director for 2022, commencing in February.

WAYJO General Manager Monique Douglas states "It is with great pride that WAYJO welcomes Tom this year as our Assistant Music Director. Tom brings his unique experience to our Orchestras and we look forward to the knowledge and skill he will contribute to WAYJO this year."

Proudly supported by the Simon Lee Foundation, WAYJO’s Assistant Music Director (AMD) program annually offers a mentoring traineeship to an emerging Musical Director under the age of 35. A rare opportunity for emerging band leaders to develop skills in conducting a large band, the program also covers music library, repertoire programming for an 18-piece big band, while developing leadership skills required to inspire and enhance band member’s skills and experience.

WAYJO’s Artistic Director Dr Mace Francis selected Tom after a two-month public call-out and rigorous selection process. Tom is a hardworking and conscientious young musician and composer. His calm and considerate manner in front of the band will be well received, and I know he will be able to get some great music out of the bands. I am looking forward to working with Tom and seeing what he can contribute to the organisation.

Tom, who has experience as an instrumentalist, educator and composer, is also musical director of Hills Big Band and Swingshift Big Band. “After many years being part of the WAYJO community, I am thrilled to be working alongside WAYJO as Assistant Musical Director in 2022. I look forward to making great music and sharing the stage with the brightest young musicians of our generation. Thanks to WAYJO for offering me this incredible opportunity” states Tom.

WAYJO sincerely welcomes the new addition to its small team, and look forward to working with the director in training throughout the 2022 season, launching Sunday 20 March at Lyric Lane in Maylands.

Applications for 2023 WAYJO Assistant Musical Director open in October. Head to for a WAYJO eNews subscription to stay informed on upcoming opportunities within WAYJO’s orchestras, pathway ensembles, and the organisation.

Tom Salleo – WAYJO Assistant Musical Director 2022
Tom Salleo (23) – WAYJO Assistant Musical Director 2022.

Hashtags: #WAYJO2022 #WAYJOamd #MusicTraineeship

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, MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra Naming Rights Partner, St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra Naming Rights Partner, and Healthway Act Belong Commit.


Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950

Dr Mace Francis
WAYJO Artistic Director
+61 8 9471 1950

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

2020 wayjo rehearsals return

WAYJO 2020 Announces Gradual COVID Comeback

It's been a while, but with pandemic isolation restrictions now lifting, WAYJO is gradually making a safe comeback.

At the last board meeting, the plan to re-open WAYJO in a staged approach was approved, with safety and health of everyone front of mind.

Given COVID-19 infection statistics in Western Australia remain on a downward trajectory, WAYJO plan the following actions.

From June 1;
Small, instrument/sectional rehearsals begin with ensemble numbers kept within safe limits.

From June 29; 
WAYJO staff return to office in a staged process to maintain safe physical distancing.

From July 20; 
All WAYJO staff return to normal office hours.
All WAYJO bands recommence full band rehearsals.

Thank you all for your understanding and patience throughout the lockdown period. We encourage to you maintain hygiene and distancing practices, and look forward to seeing you very soon.

We are hoping to safely present some concerts in the third &/or fourth quarter of the year.

#WAYJO2020 #COVID-19

Maylands Hall

WAYJO Announces New Board Chair

WA Youth Jazz Orchestra are delighted to announce the appointment of new Board Chair, Simon Durack. Mr Durack has had extensive corporate experience, a qualified CPA with substantial Board experience. Mr Durack joined the WAYJO Board in 2019, and also serves on the school council of Servite College. Mr Durack currently serves as the Executive Chairman of MinRex Resources.

The Board and management of WAYJO look forward to new horizons under the strategic guidance of Mr Durack as the company commences planning towards WAYJO’s 40th anniversary in 2022.

WAYJO are also pleased to announce the election of long serving Board member and Treasurer Laura Coles as Deputy Chair. Ms Coles is a Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and has served on the WAYJO Board since 2016. Ms Coles will continue to act in the role of Treasurer in addition to her duties as Deputy Chair.

The WAYJO Board is undergoing a period of exciting regeneration, also welcoming Mr Jon Bennett and Ms Kate Pass to the Board in 2020. Mr Bennett, the father of a WAYJO member, has extensive corporate strategic and community Board experience, while Ms Pass is a leading musician in Perth’s jazz scene and a WAYJO alumna.

WAYJO recognises the work of retired Board Chair Mr Lloyd Smith, who stepped down from the role and the Board in January 2020 after nearly a decade of stewardship. Under Mr Smith’s Chairship, WAYJO have significantly grown program streams, audience reach and revenue, boasting an impressive ratio of self-generated revenue at 85% of company turnover in 2019. WAYJO Deputy Chair Tony Ottaviano has also stepped down from this role after a long tenure.

WAYJO looks forward to introducing the new Chair and Board members to our stakeholders in the coming months as re-imagined programming is released pending restrictions on public gatherings being relaxed in the wake of improving circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic locally.



Please Note: WAYJO staff members are working from home during the COVID-19 isolation period, so our office phone is not currently attended or checked daily. To ensure the swiftest response, please make your enquiries directly via email.

Simon Keen
WAYJO General Manager
+61 8 9471 1950

Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950

WAYJO Cancels 2020 Season

Three weeks ago, consistent with State and Federal Government instructions regarding social distancing, WAYJO made the decision to cancel all rehearsals and public events until May 31. It is with a heavy heart that we now announce the full cancellation of all events programmed in our 2020 Season, Homegrown.

Entering 2020, fresh from the success of our 2019 season An American Jazz Story, featuring record attendances and easily surpassing box office targets, WAYJO’s Homegrown program was to focus on the breadth of talent in Australian jazz, with multiple new commissions and guest artists featuring Australians from around the country and indeed the world. Sadly, this season is not to be.

WAYJO are currently exploring exciting and innovative new programming initiatives that we will share with our audiences once restrictions on public gatherings are relaxed. This programming will reflect the need for performances to be commercially viable but still contain the artistic integrity WAYJO’s reputation has been built on in the company’s 37 year history.

The last few weeks have been impossibly difficult for the arts sector as a whole. WAYJO stands in solidarity with our fellow Western Australian small-medium arts companies who have lost their funding through the Australia Council as well as those, like WAYJO, who are facing difficult times with no events to present and little in the way of generated revenue coming in. Many WAYJO artists and alumni now find themselves with no income from performances and events and little prospect of these performances returning in the near term.

Arts improves lives, now more than ever. WAYJO urges the Federal and State Governments to act quickly and decisively to further support the arts sector, and in particular those artists and arts workers who have seen incomes reduced to almost nothing as a result of the considered response to controlling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. These artists and arts workers deserve urgent financial support and assurance during the current circumstances, and the sector as a whole faces decimation without this support.

We wish all of our alumni, members, families, friends and the wider community health and safety during this time. We ask that those who have capacity, donate to WAYJO, other arts organisations, and funds dedicated to the support of artists and arts workers. Above all else, we look forward to planning our recovery, and sharing with everyone the love for jazz our company has, and rising towards our 40th anniversary in 2023.

WAYJO exists to offer outstanding opportunities to young artists, and to build the future of Australian jazz. We wish for everyone to stay safe and connected to WAYJO, and we hope to see all of you at a performance in the near future.

Please Note: As WAYJO staff are working from home during the COVID-19 isolation period, WAYJO’s office phone is not currently attended or checked daily. To ensure the swiftest response, please make your enquiries directly via email.


Simon Keen
WAYJO General Manager
+61 8 9471 1950

Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing (Monday & Wednesday)
+61 8 9471 1950


Maylands Hall

WAYJO Statement on COVID-19

WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) have been monitoring Government directions on the COVID-19 pandemic. The WAYJO Board and Staff have developed Business Continuity and Risk Management Plans to ensure the safety and health of our young members and the viability of the company moving forwards.

After careful deliberation, WAYJO have cancelled all public activities and rehearsals until May 31.

These activities include:

  • Previously announced cancellations of Swinging at the Embassy Ballroom and Jazz for Juniors,
  • South West Regional Tour
  • Polka Dots and Moonbeams, featuring Kristin Berardi
  • Weekly rehearsal programs for our 54 musicians.

WAYJO envisages more cancellations of events in the future, a blow to Australian artists who were the focus of our 2020 Homegrown season. However, WAYJO recognises the insecure nature of artists’ livelihoods during the current climate, and is endeavouring to support all contracted and casual artists during this time, including proceeding with our 2020 commissioning program.

WAYJO also recognises the loss of income for Back and Front of House staff at the venues we perform in, and hope that these arts workers, many of them casual employees, receive the support they require.

The Board and Management at WAYJO will continue to re-evaluate the program in the coming months, and encourage those who are able to continue to support the sector by donating or purchasing music from affected artists.

WAYJO has built the future of Australian jazz for 37 years, and we are committed to delivering on this mission throughout 2020 and beyond.



Simon Keen
WAYJO General Manager
+61 8 9471 1950

Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950