Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestra

  • SYJO is for school-aged students. We have a vacancy for a trumpet player for an 18+ little big band. Email 
  • Spots available  in combos (small ensembles) Monday evenings for ages 18+ and other groups Thursday & Saturday for school students. Email about combos (aka small ensembles)

Criteria: you must be able to play and read, and to commit to a weekly rehearsal & band performances. Commitment to a weekly rehearsal means you come every week to rehearsal. You do not have to be the best player in the world, we’ll help you become a much better player, whoever you are provided you are committed.

Jazz Workshop Australia

SYJO is sponsored by Jazz Workshop Australia: music school, improvisation coaching, jazz combos, holiday camps.

SYJO is an acclaimed jazz big band for talented and dedicated school-aged musicians. It is the flagship ensemble of the Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestra program, a not for profit music training association dedicated to helping young musicians achieve the highest possible standards of performance. SYJO plays 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.

The Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestra program includes SYJO, the flagship ensemble for high school & advanced primary-aged musicians and a sister ensemble, the JWA Big Band for advanced school-leavers. SYJO offers young musicians with potential the chance to develop through working with the best, most successful jazz educators in Australia.

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 19 and under who are at school or equivalent. It requires commitment to weekly rehearsals, attendance at performances, proficiency on an instrument, good sight-reading ability, capacity to improve and resolve errors given coaching and guidance, disposition and time to practice, a desire to improve, grow, relish playing music, and excel. New members do not have to be the best players: that is what rehearsals and teaching are for. They must be the right kind of players with the potential and willingness to become excellent.

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 assisting young musicians to access excellent jazz education opportunities and to later establish viable careers as professional performers as alumni of the SYJO program.


The principal SYJO conductor and musical director is Saul Richardson, B.Ed (hons), MACE . Saul is well known internationally as one of Australia’s most successful jazz educators. He is an experienced big band conductor, electric guitarist, adjudicator, clinician former lecturer in the Jazz Department at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and a PhD student at the University of Sydney.


The Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestras is a not-for-profit organisation. It is administered by a volunteer committee.


Rehearsals at held at The Jazz Workshop on Atchison St in St Leonards on Wednesdays 7:45 – 8:15 pm.

Enquiries about SYJO and JWA big band

Email us at or use the contact form on this website.

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