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About the Young
Women’s Jazz
Orchestra.

The Young Women’s Jazz Orchestra (YWJO) is a dynamic large ensemble for talented young women aged 15-21 interested in pursuing jazz, honing their improvisation skills and looking for experience playing in a large ensemble.

Presented by Sirens Big Band and Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) the ensemble is the next step after SIMA’s highly successful Young Women’s Jazz Workshops providing year-round opportunities under the tutelage of Sirens Big Band.

Ensemble members will be offered exclusive performance opportunities at festivals and venues throughout NSW, as well as the chance to develop skills and confidence in a supportive environment. In 2016, the YWJO performed at Foundry 616, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and were on the bill of the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival. The band was also took part in workshops with world class jazz musicians Ingrid Jensen (USA), Christine Jensen (CAN), and Camille Thurman (USA).

The ensemble perform and workshop Australian compositions in a variety of jazz styles, providing members the opportunity to work directly with emerging and established composers.

Entry is by audition with weekly rehearsals throughout school terms on Wednesday evenings, from 6:30-8:30pm at University of New South Wales, Kensington.

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About the Young
Women’s Jazz
Orchestra.

The Young Women’s Jazz Orchestra (YWJO) is a dynamic large ensemble for talented young women aged 15-21 interested in pursuing jazz, honing their improvisation skills and looking for experience playing in a large ensemble.

Presented by Sirens Big Band and Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) the ensemble is the next step after SIMA’s highly successful Young Women’s Jazz Workshops providing year-round opportunities under the tutelage of Sirens Big Band.

Ensemble members will be offered exclusive performance opportunities at festivals and venues throughout NSW, as well as the chance to develop skills and confidence in a supportive environment. In 2016, the YWJO performed at Foundry 616, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and were on the bill of the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival. The band was also took part in workshops with world class jazz musicians Ingrid Jensen (USA), Christine Jensen (CAN), and Camille Thurman (USA).

The ensemble perform and workshop Australian compositions in a variety of jazz styles, providing members the opportunity to work directly with emerging and established composers.

Entry is by audition with weekly rehearsals throughout school terms on Wednesday evenings, from 6:30-8:30pm at University of New South Wales, Kensington.

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Facilitators.

Ellen Kirkwood.

The Young Women’s Jazz Orchestra is conducted by renowned Sydney-based trumpeter, composer, band director and educator, Ellen Kirkwood. Directing award winning high school big bands and jazz ensembles for over ten years, Ellenis also a tutor at SIMA’s Young Women’s Jazz Workshops. Winner of the 2012 Jann Rutherford Memorial Award for excellence in jazz and band-leader of The Mieville Project and Fat Yahoozah, she also performs regularly with Sirens Big Band and Mister Ott at major festivals and venues across Australia. Ellen was recently commissioned to compose and premiere a suite at the 2015 Sydney International Jazz Festival and was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts grant to study composition with world renowned Barney McAll.

Students will also be offered performance and mentorship opportunities with members of Sirens Big Band who are sought-after educators and in-demand musicians passionate about educating the next generation of female instrumentalists.

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Presenters.

Sirens Big Band.

Winners of the Jann Rutherford Memorial Award, Sirens Big Band was formed in 2009 when founding members Jessica Dunn and Harri Harding met at SIMA’s Young Women’s Jazz Workshop. The ensemble present exciting and engaging Australian large ensemble music and have performed at festivals such as Sydney Festival, Brisbane Festival, Capital Jazz Project and Parramasala with artists as diverse as Claire Daly (US), Mohamed Youssef and Sandy Evans. Sirens attempts to redress the gender imbalance in jazz by providing opportunities to a community of outstanding female musicians and composers

Sydney Improvised Music Association.

SIMA is a leading contemporary jazz presenter in Australia and a platform for hundreds of contemporary jazz artists to present a broad spectrum of jazz and improvised music each year. SIMA contributes to Australian jazz through its artist development programs and Education program Cool for School. SIMA has significant programs to develop female representation in jazz. These include the Young Women’s Jazz Workshops founded with Dr Sandy Evans OAM in 2002 now in NSW, WA and ACT and the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival, held annually in November.

Interested in joining this vibrant group of young women?

Find out how

The Young Women's Jazz Orchestra is proudly supported by: