Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra

The Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra is Southwest Michigan’s premier youth jazz ensemble and allows regional student musician’s an opportunity to grow as jazz musicians and community musical leaders. KYJO invites students in grades 9-12, or advanced younger students with teacher recommendation, to audition for this year-long program. During the season (November-May), students will rehearse weekly and perform professional level music directed by a staff/faculty of professional jazz musicians/teaching artists led by JCI Director, Benje Daneman. The KYJO will also receive guest clinics throughout the season by regional jazz professionals. KYJO is already slated for multiple performances across the region in many different settings including jazz clubs, concert halls and festivals. The season will conclude with a live recording with a renowned jazz guest artist.


Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra (by audition)

High School students (middle school students considered with permission)

Wednesday Rehearsals and Performances
Weekly 2-hour rehearsals. 6:30pm - 8:30pm
8+ performances occur throughout the season at various times and locations.

Saturday Morning Open Studio
Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra members are invited to our Saturday Morning Open Studios held most Saturday mornings with Jazz Academy Students. Musicians work on whatever they choose at their own pace together. Instruments and amps are available for use. 9:30pm – 11:00am

Orchestra Tuition (7 months; Nov - May)
$105/month ($735 season total)

Add Jazz Academy 30-min lessons (weekly private lessons + jam session)
$175/month total (Save $55/month)

Add Jazz Academy 60-min lessons (weekly private lessons + jam session)
$275/month total (Save $80/month)

2018-19 Season - Program Information

Important Dates:

OCTOBER 15, 2018 - Applications Due. (https://jazzandcreative.com/kyjo-lab-band)

OCTOBER 17 & 18, 2018 - 6:00-9:00pm - Auditions. Auditions will be held at Jazz & Creative Institute (310 N. Rose St. Kalamazoo, MI 49007). Audition slots will be emailed individually by.

OCTOBER 22, 2018 - Announcement of Acceptance. You will be notified by e-mail of your entry into the ensemble. NOVEMBER 7, 2018 - 6:30-8:30pm - First Rehearsal Rehearsals to be held every Wednesday from 6:30-8:30pm at Jazz & Creative Institute.

Attendance Policy: Every rehearsal is important and your presence is necessary. Absences will only be made by ensemble director (including emergencies, illness, specific family/school obligations, etc). Otherwise, any unexcused absence might result in being asked to leave the program.

Performances: Each ensemble will have multiple public performances throughout the year. Attendance is required by ALL ensemble members. Please review the “Rehearsal/Performance Schedule” closely. Acceptance of a position in an ensemble is also accepting the performance schedule. If you have questions or concern, please contact KYJO/KYJLB Director, Benje Daneman.

Ensemble Placement: All interested musicians in either KYJO or KYJLB should audition. JCI Staff and Faculty will decide on ensemble placement for each musician based upon ability, experience and where they feel the musician will benefit the most.

Professional Expectations: As a member of KYJO/KYJLB, there is an assumed expectation of high level professionalism and preparation. Punctuality is a minimum expectation of all members. A positive and open attitude will be necessary at all times. Members are expected to have music prepared, practiced and ready for rehearsal. A negative attitude or unwillingness to participate is grounds for removal from the ensemble with no refund.

If there are extenuating circumstances for payment, please contact us to make alternate payment arrangements. Limited scholarship available.