Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestra (SYJO)

Update, December 2022: this post is historical. Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestra is still going stronger than ever, but is now a single ensemble, for school-aged students. At JWA we are proud to sponsor and host this outstanding youth community big band.

Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestra is a band of 17 of Sydney’s finest jazz players up to age 25. It is the flagship ensemble of the SYJO program, a not-for-profit music training association dedicated to helping young musicians achieve the highest possible standards of performance. SYJO plays at the highest level, the equal of any jazz orchestra in Australia. SYJO performs a wide repertoire, covering the swing and mainstream traditions of the 1920s to today, as well as new works of contemporary Australian and international repertoire. The band often features new compositions by members of the ensemble.

SYJO on tour, 2011
On tour, 2011.

The Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestra, SYJO, is a non-profit association established for the encouragement of music. Specifically, through providing a framework of outstanding jazz ensembles for students and young musicians to rehearse and perform with.

Membership of the ensembles is by audition and is open to musicians aged 30 years and under. There are three SYJO ensembles, grouped roughly by age but all auditioned on the basis of playing ability.

SYJO’s non-profit status allows it to fundraise and seek support through grants and donations in order to provide programs for its members. These include regional touring grants, artist in residence programs, support for young composers and scholarship programs for assissting young musicians to  access excellent jazz education opportunities and to later establish viable careers as professional performers as alumni of the SYJO program.

The SYJO musical director is Saul Richardson.

An exciting initiative of SYJO is the Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra AYJO, an occasional ensemble bringing together the finest young jazz musicians in the country for collegiate rehearsals, performances and touring.

For enquiries about SYJO and AYJO to visit the Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestra website,

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