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


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.

 


Contacts

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
simon.keen@wayjo.com
+61 8 9471 1950

Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
marketing@wayjo.com
+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.

Contacts

Simon Keen
WAYJO General Manager
simon.keen@wayjo.com
+61 8 9471 1950

Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing (Monday & Wednesday)
marketing@wayjo.com
+61 8 9471 1950

 


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.

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Contacts

Simon Keen
WAYJO General Manager
simon.keen@wayjo.com
+61 8 9471 1950

Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
marketing@wayjo.com
+61 8 9471 1950

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WAYJO Statement on Concert Cancellations

WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) are sad to announce the cancellation of our first two concerts of the year, Swinging at the Embassy Ballroom and Jazz for Juniors shows.

WAYJO is a small arts company but everything we do is with our members in mind. While audiences for these performances are tracking well under the 500 person limit set for gatherings per the Federal and State Governments’ directives, we also have a number of considerations to take into account when producing our concerts.

For Jazz for Juniors, don’t want to expose our youngest audiences and their carers to any risk.

Swinging at the Embassy Ballroom sales have suffered from a definite change in audience behaviour. Within all current health guidelines the performance could still go ahead, however the sheer cost of mounting this concert is no longer viable.

Those affected are entitled to a full refund of your ticket purchase. Perth Theatre Trust will process a full refund of your ticket costs and applicable handling fees onto the credit card that was used to purchase the tickets. You do not need to do anything. Please allow up to 15 business days for the refund to be processed.

If you paid in cash or with other payment methods, our box office team will contact you personally to organise your refund.

The Board and Staff at WAYJO will be monitoring all updates on the COVID-19 pandemic and reviewing all programming decisions based on stringent risk assessments.

WAYJO recognises the loss of income our sector is facing due to event cancellations or low attendance. With this in mind, WAYJO will endeavour to find the means to support in some way all contracted artists for their scheduled work in 2020, regardless of whether they are able to appear with WAYJO or not. We think this is an important show of support in our sector, and we hope that other arts organisations are able to do the same as much as practically possible. We wish we could also support the Front and Back of House workers who will suffer as a result of event cancellations, but we are not in a position to do so.

Finally, this is a time where WAYJO needs every ounce of support our friends and supporters can provide. If you have tickets to a cancelled show, please consider a donation to the company. If you have the capacity, talk to us about the meaningful impact every donation has for our company. We’d love as many of our supporters as possible to set up a weekly $5 donation to help keep the lights on. More information on donating can be found at wayjo.com/support

Most of all, we wish for our members, families, and supporters to stay healthy as we navigate through these difficult times. We hope to see you at a performance again in the very near future.

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Contacts

Simon Keen
WAYJO General Manager
simon.keen@wayjo.com
+61 8 9471 1950

Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
marketing@wayjo.com
+61 8 9471 1950

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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 wayjo.com/support

 

Hashtags: #WAYJO2020 #SponsorASeat

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


WAYJO Announces 2020 Season with an All-Australian Guest Artist Program

The West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) launches its 2020 season, Homegrown, celebrating the depth of talent Australia has produced in the jazz scene, with a suite of Australian guest artists in an exciting program.

After a 2019 focus on the birthplace of jazz, the USA, featuring numerous sell-out performances, WAYJO brings a stunning array of Australian artists from interstate and abroad to perform with the company’s three 18-piece jazz big bands. As part of the Homegrown season, WAYJO have also commissioned a number of new compositions, presenting the World Premiere of nearly three hours of new music.

WAYJO recognises the importance of showcasing Australian musicians and the successes of over 35 years of WAYJO alumni on the Australian and international scenes. Our vision to “build the future of Australian jazz” is the cornerstone rationale behind the 2020 program, offering outstanding opportunities for young Western Australian musicians and providing WAYJO’s growing audience with fresh perspectives and experiences.

Homegrown kicks off with a tribute to one of Perth’s legendary and much missed venues, with Swinging at the Embassy Ballroom. From 1928 to 1982, the Embassy hosted many of Perth’s swinging jazz legends as well as artists from across the ocean, and WAYJO will remind nostalgic audiences of the music of those years on the main stage at His Majesty’s Theatre. Featuring all three of WAYJO’s big bands and guest vocalists Anita Wardell & Victoria Newton this will be a concert event for young and old alike.

Jazz at The Maj returns from May to October, featuring stunning concerts in the beautifully intimate Downstairs at The Maj. The season begins in May with WAYJO welcoming vocalist Kristin Berardi (Qld) in Polka Dots and Moonbeams. Kristin wowed Perthaudiences at the 2019 Perth International Jazz Festival with her sensuous voice and joins the WAYJO Tuesday Night Orchestra.

In June, WAYJO is proud to present a true legend of Australian jazz, pianist Judy Bailey (NSW) to perform My Favourite Things. A force of nature, Judy joins the WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestra, Perth’s premiere big band in performing  new jazz composition, for two unmissable concerts.

July sees WAYJO debuting our first major commissions for 2020. WAYJO alumni Andrew Murray (Vic) joins Artistic Director Dr Mace Francis to present Come Together. For the first time, the WAYJO MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra will perform works composed specifically for this ensemble, a rare challenge for the most junior WAYJO band. However, with well-known music like The Beatles’ “Come Together” receiving a whole new jazz arrangement audiences are sure to be surprised and enchanted in this World Premiere event.

One of WAYJO’s recent success stories, Alana Macpherson, alumna and former WAYJO Assistant Music Director, joins WAYJO in September for the second major commission of the year, All or Nothing At All. Alana, 2018 WAM Award winner as Best Brass/String/Woodwind Instrumentalist, studies her Masters of Jazz Composition at the MUG University of Music and Performing Arts, Austria, and brings her saxophone and composing skills to bear with the Wednesday Night Orchestra.

Toshi Clinch (Vic) offers his unique arrangements of classic Hollywood films to WAYJO in October to close out the Jazz at The Maj season with A Golden Age of Jazz on Film. Following the success of WAYJO’s 2019 concerts, Jazz at the Movies, these reimagined works of Quincy Jones, John Williams and more will be a family favourite.

WAYJO’s guest artist program is proudly supported by the Minderoo Foundation in their second year of partnership with WAYJO.

Punctuating the Homegrown season will be the return of the King Street Corner Pocket Jazz Festival in 2020. Showcasing the depth of talent in Western Australia, over 50 performances by the state’s emerging and established jazz acts will feature across the three days of the Festival. From big band to smaller intimate ensembles and solo musicians, King Street Corner Pocket is the most accessible and fun way to see multiple acts in the same night in easy walking distance. WAYJO will also present The Debut Collection during the Festival, featuring commissioned works from the company’s Composer-in-Residence program. King Street Corner Pocket is supported by the City of Perth.

The sell-out Jazz for Juniors returns as part of WAYJO’s ongoing Act-Belong-Commit education program, which also features dedicated schools concerts Downstairs at The Maj, and South-West and Geraldton Regional Tours.

Homegrown continues WAYJO’s focus on supporting the growth of jazz in the State and furthering the representation of female artists, with five of the seven guest artists programmed outstanding women in the field.

WAYJO’s 2019 season saw continued audience growth, with the Jazz at the Maj season reaching 92% of ticketed capacity, a 10% increase in audiences at Corner Pocket, and box office targets exceeded by 12%.

WAYJO is the small company that has WA’s arts community buzzing, with an exciting 2020 on the horizon.

 

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WAYJO 2020 Season Overview

His Majesty’s Theatre
Swinging at the Embassy Ballroom
Featuring Anita Wardell and Victoria Newton
March 27

Downstairs at The Maj
"Jazz at The Maj"

Polka Dots and Moonbeams
Featuring Kristin Berardi
May 1 & 2

My Favourite Things
Featuring Judy Bailey
June 5 & 6

Come Together (World Premiere)
Featuring Andrew Murray and Mace Francis
July 3 & 4

All or Nothing At All
Featuring Alana Macpherson
September 4 & 5

A Golden Age of Jazz on Film
Featuring Toshi Clinch
October 2 & 3

Jazz for Juniors
April 14-15, July 7-8, September 29-30

King Street Corner Pocket Jazz Festival
Various Venues around King and Hay Streets, Perth – July 30 to August 1

 

WAYJO 2020 Sponsors

Government Partner Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries & Lotterywest

Principal Partner North West Shelf Gas

Guest Artist Partner The Minderoo Foundation

Education and Regional Tour Partner Healthway

Naming Rights Partner Monday Night Orchestra MinterEllison

Major Partner St John of God Health Care

Offical Partner Gerard Daniels

Hotel Partner InterContinental City Centre Perth

Festival Partner City of Perth

Venue Partners His Majesty’s TheatreWest Australian Academy of Performing Arts

Supporting Partners Minuteman Press Perth, City of Perth Parking, ActivITRTR FM 92.1

 

Media Contact

Simon Keen, WAYJO General Manager
simon.keen@wayjo.com
0407 990 483


WAYJO celebrates 10,000 patrons to His Majesty’s Theatre

WAYJO is delighted to announce that today the 10,000th ticket was issued to performances and events at His Majesty’s Theatre since they commenced their regular programming at the venue in 2017.

WAYJO’s annual ticketed program held Downstairs at The Maj features guest artists from around Australia and the world, including some of the world’s best jazz practitioners and offering outstanding experiences for young musicians to work with these artists.

The 2018 program, Women in Jazz, featured almost exclusively female guest artists, while the 2019 season, An American Jazz Story, has seen six out of the first seven performances played to sold-out houses.

Debuting in 2017, Jazz for Juniors, a program of concerts aimed at under 7 year olds and their carers, has achieved similar success, with many sold out performances. Meanwhile, WAYJO’s Education Concerts and Workshops, held Downstairs at the Maj, have allowed local students to gain an insight into the work of visiting guest artists and big band jazz music.

The King Street Corner Pocket Jazz Festival, debuting in 2018 as part of WAYJO’s 35th anniversary celebrations, saw His Majesty’s Theatre as the central hub for this fringe-style event with over 3,000 tickets issued for the festival each year. Downstairs at the Maj, the Dress Circle Bar, and Barre Café all hosted events during the Festival which featured the best of Perth’s emerging and established jazz talent.

WAYJO General Manager Simon Keen said audiences at His Majesty’s Theatre had embraced WAYJO’s presence at the venue, generating opportunities for the company to develop new funding streams and a wider reach.

“The opportunity for us to perform at this iconic Western Australian venue has opened doors in many ways, allowing us to build our programs, host donors, deliver engaging and exciting guest artist programs and develop our young musicians,” he said.

“We couldn’t be more grateful to the staff at The Maj for all of their support.”

Lloyd Smith, WAYJO Chair said: “The WAYJO Board greatly appreciates the support of our sponsors, donors, and attendees, in particular the State Government of Western Australia through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. As WAYJO’s annual audiences have more than quadrupled, we are proud to be a leading provider of opportunities for young musicians and to see WAYJO take a leadership role as the jazz sector provides accessible and affordable live music experiences in Perth.”

WAYJO’s program of events at His Majesty’s Theatre continues until November this year. Plans for the 2020 season are well underway with the theme of Homegrown at the core, with a focus on bringing the best Western Australian and Australian talent working interstate and overseas to Perth to work with our musicians across the season.

Media Contact

Simon KeenWAYJO General Manager
simon.keen@wayjo.com
+61 (0)407 990 483


Seasons Greetings from WAYJO

Best wishes for 2019 from everyone at WAYJO

The WAYJO office will be closed for the holiday season from Monday 17 December, and reopens for 2019 Wednesday 9 January. 

From everyone at WAYJO, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support during an incredibly busy year of jazz.

WAYJO produced around 100 ticketed performances throughout the year, and attendance of our 2018 season program reached over 8,000 - a remarkable achievement from a lean team of just three office staff.

Here’s wishing you and yours a festive holiday season. We sincerely hope to see you at our shows next year - check out our offerings for 2019 at wayjo.com/season


WAYJO Announces 2019 Season

WAYJO Announces 2019 Season

The West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) launches its 2019 season with a focus on the birthplace of jazz, the USA, welcoming celebrated international guest artists.

The 2019 annual program has the theme of “An American Jazz Story”, with all core events focused on a different American theme, whether it’s a city and style or a celebration of composers and songs.

Jazz at The Maj returns from April to November, featuring stunning concerts in the beautifully intimate Downstairs at the Maj. The season kicks off in April with a celebration of The Great American Songbook, hot on the heels of the 2018 sell-out “Ladies Sing the Blues” and delivering a night of the best sung jazz standards.

In May, WAYJO welcomes trombonist Mariel Bildsten (USA) to perform Dixieland Stomp, a riotous journey through New Orleans style jazz. Ms Bildsten last appeared in Perth as part of the Evan Sherman Big Band (Perth Festival, 2017).

July sees WAYJO visit Detroit in Jazz with a Touch of Motown as they celebrate the Motor City’s storied contribution to jazz.

In a huge coup for the company, Dick Oatts performs with WAYJO in August for Central Park North, a tribute to jazz from New York City. Mr Oatts is the Artistic Director and lead alto saxophone player with the fabled Vanguard Orchestra, and these concerts will be a highlight of the year.

September sees WAYJO working with Iain Robbie, Steve Richter and Adolfo Chavez, popular local artists known for their Latin style in The Afro Cuban Explosion. Miami Cuban jazz will have audiences dancing in their seats to infectious rhythms and percussion.

Everybody Needs Somebody to Love opens in October as WAYJO dedicates a night to the bluesy style of Chicago’s jazz scene.

Jazz at The Maj concludes in November with Jazz at the Movies, presenting favourites and surprising compositions from Hollywood, from The Pink Panther theme to The Incredibles for all the family to enjoy.

WAYJO’s annual gala event at the Astor Theatre returns in June with Vegas, Baby!. A night of big band show tunes made popular in the old Vegas rat-pack style will pack houses.

Jazz Under the Stars closes out the year at the stunning Quarry Amphitheatre featuring all three of WAYJO’s 18-piece big bands.

The sell-out Jazz for Juniors returns as part of WAYJO’s ongoing education program.

The 2019 season will continue WAYJO’s growth as a company. From 1,500 ticketed attendances in 2016, WAYJO’s program has grown to attract over 8,000 attendees in 2018.

WAYJO is the small company that has WA’s arts community buzzing with an exciting 2019 on the horizon.

WAYJO 2019 Season Overview

Jazz at The Maj

Downstairs at His Majesty's Theatre - April to November

The Great American Songbook
April 5-6

Dixieland Stomp featuring Mariel Bildsten (USA)
May 3-4

Jazz with a Touch of Motown
July 5-6

Central Park North featuring Dick Oatts (USA)
August 2-3

The Afro-Cuban Explosion
September 6-7

Everybody Needs Somebody to Love
October 4-5

Jazz at the Movies
November 8-9

Jazz for Juniors

His Majesty’s Theatre - April 16-17, July 9-10, & October 1-2

Vegas, Baby!

Astor Theatre - June 1

The Debut Collection

The Ellington Jazz Club – June 22

The Artemis Project

The Ellington Jazz Club – October 19

Jazz Under the Stars

Quarry Amphitheatre - November 22