Sydney Youth Jazz Orchestra

SYJO2  has vacancies for new members for 2019:

  • Tenor sax, bari sax, piano, and bass in the BIG BAND.
  • To arrange an audition time please email
  • SYJO2 is for school-aged students. We are currently seeking expressions of interest for an 18+ advanced-level little big band commencing 2019. Email 
  • Limited spots available  in combos (small ensembles) Monday evenings for ages 18+.

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, ranking among Australia’s finest. 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, and SYJO2 for high school & advanced primary-aged musicians. Members do not have to be working towards careers in music. It is an opportunity for anyone who enjoys playing big band jazz at a high level. Music doesn’t have to stop just because school ends!

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.

Following in the tradition of other youth jazz orchestras around the world, SYJO is set to become Australia’s foremost youth jazz orchestra. In the UK the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra for many years have all outstanding examples of the level of performance an opportunity such as this can offer. Locally the Sydney Schools Jazz Orchestra for public secondary school students and Judy Bailey’s Jazz Connection are two other youth jazz orchestras performing at a very high level. SYJO works in tandem and in cooperation with these, and the many other fine youth jazz orchestras of Sydney and Australia.

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

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.


The 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.

  • SYJO rehearses Thursday evenings from 7pm
  • SYJO2 rehearses Wednesday evenings from 6:40pm
  • SYJO3 currently not being offered – however please register your interest for future updates.

Enquiries about SYJO and AYJO

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

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