We return in 2022 with three new bands, a sense of optimism (just) and an exciting program of music to share with you. It goes without saying that the last two years have been challenging, however our music and arts community are resilient and strong and we all keep planning ahead to keep this state a vibrant and thriving place.

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!

Last year we welcomed two amazing new staff members, Monique Douglas and Emily Stokoe, who have been instrumental in making WAYJO a stable and safe place, during a time of such instability. As an organisation we have made an even stronger commitment than ever that we are a safe, inclusive and creative place.

The performance program this year will feature the different big band instruments in the horn section. The trumpet will be showcased in a tribute to the great Kenny Wheeler, featuring Jessica Carlton. Gemma Farrell will perform on all the saxophones with the MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra, and the trombone will be featured in a concert with Jeremy Grieg, Catherine Noblet and Will Pethick.

We will pay tribute to the greats by celebrating the 100th birthday of Charles Mingus and lots of members of the Count Basie Orchestra – Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis, Joe Newman and Frank Wess, all born in 1922 and contributed to some of the greatest jazz recordings in history.

It is important to also create new music and contribute to the cultural landscape of this state. We will do this in 2022 with a new collaboration with the music students at Djinda Boodja reinventing their music for our orchestras. We will also continue our Composer in Residence program, now in its 15th year, commissioning two emerging composers to create new works for our Wednesday Night Orchestra to record.

So all your jazz needs are covered from the classic music of Count Basie 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 amazing talent and exciting music in 2022. I look forward to seeing you at a show or three.