We return in 2023 with three new bands, a sense of optimism and an exciting program of music to share with you to celebrate our 40th year! It is crazy to think that WAYJO has been around for twice as long as many of our young band members.

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!

In planning this 40th anniversary program for this year I have been reflecting with great fondness of all the people I have met, the musicians I was able to play with and the opportunities, on and off the bandstand, I was given through my time with this great youth music program. After all this time, our purpose is still the same… creating amazing musical experiences and opportunities for young people through a big band experience. The thought that so many people have also had a great WAYJO experience fills me with joy.


The 2023 program is built around five main events made up of three mini tours with a visiting guest artist. WNO will perform with Sydney based rising jazz star Tessie Overmyer. TNO will perform with WAYJO alumni and trumpet god Mat Jodrell and MNO will perform with saxophonist David Theak, an absolute mover and shaker in the Australian jazz scene and a previous guest artist.

The other two events will be our “Best Of 2023” concert winding up the year at the Quarry Amphitheatre and we will introduce a mini festival weekend at the State Theatre Centre where we will take over the Studio Underground and the foyer over two days.


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

All your jazz needs are covered 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 2023.

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

Mace Francis
WAYJO Artistic Director