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!