Artistic Director's Message

Dr Mace Francis,
WAYJO Artistic Director & WNO Musical Director

This year we take you to the USA to celebrate the birthplace of the music we love.

Every month WAYJO will transport you to a different city in America to showcase the music that has made it famous; from New York to New Orleans, Las Vegas to Hollywood, Chicago to Detroit. Each of these great cities have contributed a musical style that has influenced modern music and created some of the greatest moments in modern music history.

We are very excited to welcome two very special guests to Perth from New York City, saxophonist Dick Oatts and trombonist Mariel Bildsten, to perform especially with WAYJO as part of our American Jazz Story.

Dick Oatts is big band jazz royalty, holding the position of lead alto player for the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra since 1977 and has one of the most powerful and distinct alto saxophone sounds in jazz. He will be bringing the sound and energy of New York City to Downstairs at The Maj, transforming that room into The Village Vanguard.

Mariel Bildsten is a rising star in New York, playing in many of the city’s big bands, including the Evan Sherman Big Band, and is part of one of my favourite brass bands, Brass Against the Machine. She has a real respect for the history of jazz and will be bringing her expertise to us for our New Orleans night.

We are so excited to bring you this program in 2019 with our three exceptional bands filled with immensely talented young musicians. I look forward to seeing you at one of our many performances.