Message from the Artistic Director

We return in 2024 with three new bands and a sense of excitement and motivation after celebrating our 40th year last year. We may be 40 but we are feeling great!

Mace Francis at the WAYJO 40th Celebrations. Image by Josh Wells.

We have a program that showcases each of our three bands on stages all over WA, shows off the versatility of the big band format, celebrates history, creates new work, and shows clear pathways into our bands for future WAYJO musicians. It really is an exciting time to be a part of WAYJO.

2024 sees us being able to include international artists back into the program and we will cover more of WA than we ever have, which is all very exciting!


The 2024 program is built around three regional tours featuring guest artist and WA hip hop legend – Zero Emcee. Each of our three bands will tour from Esperance to Karratha with the wonderful support of our friends at CircuitWest and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

Each of our bands will work with an international guest. Starting with the Monday Night Orchestra (MNO) with WAYJO alumni and international touring artist Sarah McKenzie, during her national tour. The Wednesday Night Orchestra (WNO) will perform with Brooklyn-based trumpeter Chloe Rowlands and New York-based WAYJO alumni Linda May Han Oh. While the St John of God Health Care Tuesday Night Orchestra (TNO) will work with another Brooklyn-based composer Sara McDonald. All these amazing women bring a broad range of jazz and experience to our bands throughout the year.

Our Pathways Progressions program will include a special injection of inspiration with Chloe Rowlands joining the program for their last two workshops and performance in September.

There will be a few other surprises, including a celebration of Sammy Nestico, and we will finish with our annual ‘Best of’ concert to wind up the year at the Quarry Amphitheatre.

Visit our Events page for details of all of our upcoming concerts.


I would like to extend a huge thank you to the team helping us this year to make this program a reality. To Monique, Emily, Emma, Lucy, and Amanda in the office. As well as Ricki, Marty, Jess, Bayden, and Gemma leading our bands and programs. And to Tracy, Rachel, Anna, and Scott for getting the word out and making everything look amazing, and to the Board for their leadership. Thank you!

All your jazz needs are covered again this year from the classics all the way through to music that hasn’t even been written yet! I am so excited to be able to bring you another program of amazingly talented young people and exciting music in 2024.

I look forward to seeing you at a show or three soon.

Mace Francis
WAYJO Artistic Director

Artistic Director Mace Francis with the Wednesday Night Orchestra. Image by Josh Wells.

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