Author: Sheldon McKrill
The West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra is the state’s premier organisation for young and emerging jazz performers, not to mention a cultural gem with a rich program for the public to enjoy. There’s no doubt WAYJO plays a crucial role in maintaining Perth’s vibrant jazz scene – playing over 50 events a year to over 20,000 people, and regularly performing alongside some of the jazz greats such as James Morrison. To get you excited about what’s in store for this vital not-for-profit, we’ve compiled a taster of exciting upcoming events.
Jazz at The Maj: The Afro-Cuban Explosion
Downstairs at The Maj, Sep 6 & 7
Transport yourself to the Caribbean for a night with WAYJO’s Afro-Cuban Explosion. Over two sensational nights, band members and percussionists will turn up the heat with music inspired by samba, bossa nova and salsa. From Dizzy Gillespie’s Manteca, a fan-favourite at WAYJO gigs, to music by Tito Puente and the Afro-Cuban Allstars, you’ll be up and moving your behind all night! But the talent doesn’t stop there, WAYJO welcomes guest artists Steve Richter, Iain Robbie, and Adolfo Chavez for a vocal and rhythmic extravaganza.
Late Jazz at The Maj: The Common Nouns
Downstairs at The Maj, Sep 7
Citing their influence as Miles Davis and Snarky Puppy, The Common Nouns present a combination of jazz standards, funk and fusion classics. Plus, they’ve compiled a collection of their own groovy compositions. In an eclectic mix of jazz influence and history, this contemporary jazz quartet promises to delight audience in The Maj’s iconic jazz lounge.
SHOWAYJO: A Cross-Cultural Jazz Exploration
The Ellington Jazz Club, Sep 21
Two talented groups and musical visions combine for this special exchange event. SHOWAYJO is a collaboration between musicians from WAYJO and their partners from Showa University in Japan. The two groups will combine to form a cross-cultural big band playing classic band repertoire as well as premiering a special new composition. Brace yourself for some jazz genius in the making!
The Artemis Project
The Ellington Jazz Club, Oct 19
The Artemis Project is a collaboration between the Artemis Orchestra and WAYJO’s Young Women in Jazz program, focused on inspiring young women across the city to consider taking on a career in jazz. Led by WAYJO Young Women in Jazz Program Leader Gemma Farrell, the Artemis Orchestra provides an exemplary new platform for Perth’s best female jazz artists.
Jazz at The Maj: Jazz at the Movies – Hollywood
Downstairs at The Maj, Nov 8
High on Hollywood romance, WAYJO presents your favourite jazz classics from the silver screen. Including scores from classic movies The Pink Panther and The Man With The Golden Arm, to more modern flicks like Ocean’s Eleven, WAYJO will put the spotlight on some nostalgic jazz gem. You’re encouraged to bring the kids along too, and see if they can pick out songs from their favourite animations such as The Incredibles and Monsters Inc.
Jazz Under the Stars
The Quarry Amphitheatre, Nov 22
The perfect way to usher in the balmy nights of summer, WAYJO presents Jazz Under the Stars to celebrate the year that was with all three WAYJO bands. With full ensemble talent on display, the event will take place at Perth’s best hidden-secret, the atmospheric Quarry Amphitheatre. This provides the perfect setting to relax under the stars and soak in songs hand-selected by band members, as well as introduce your friends to the best big band jazz WA has to offer.