Artistic Director's Message

Last year we took you on a journey around the USA to celebrate the birthplace of the music we love. In 2020, WAYJO will enjoy a year long stay-cation to celebrate what we have created and nurtured from around Australia with Homegrown.

Every month WAYJO will present you with an exciting guest artist that has made a significant contribution to Australian big band music.

We kick off 2020 with Swinging at the Embassy Ballroom, a huge and joyous event on the main stage at His Majesty’s Theatre, showcasing all three WAYJO bands plus vocalist powerhouses Anita Wardell and Victoria Newton. These two vocalists have a long history together and will entertain you with style, virtuosity and humour.

The rest of the performance season will be presented at our inner city home, Downstairs at The Maj, in a program packed with variety. Vocalist Kristin Berardi returns to Perth after her recent, joyful Perth International Jazz Festival performances. Australian jazz royalty, Judy Bailey, will work with WAYJO for the very first time. Andrew Murray and myself will compose a new suite of works for the MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra. Alana Macpherson comes home to WAYJO after studying big band composition in Europe, while Toshi Clinch crosses the Nullarbor in his first collaboration with us.

King Street Corner Pocket Jazz Festival will also return for it’s third year.

I am really excited to bring you this program of Australian homegrown talent in 2020. Our three exceptional WAYJO bands are filled to the brim with immensely talented young musicians, so I hope to see you at one of our many performances.