The Jazz & Creative Institute presents the first 2017-2018 season of the Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra - Southwest Michigan's Premier Youth Jazz Ensemble. Experience high-level musical and jazz training and public performances. Open to all high school musicians by audition only. 

Directed by Benje Daneman

2017 - 2018 Visiting Professional Artists/WMU Jazz Faculty: Andrew Rathbun, Scott Cowan, Keith Hall, and Tom Knific

Secional Coaches: Rufus Ferguson & Ben Schmidt-Swartz

Sponsored in part by the Jazz + Creative Institute, Western Michigan University School of Music, and Meyer Music

About KYJO

The Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra was created by Jazz & Creative Institute, in partnership with Western Michigan University, to allow regional student musicians 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 year, students will rehearse and perform professional level music directed by a staff/faculty of professional jazz teaching artists including Benje Daneman, Rufus Ferguson and Ben Schmidt-Swartz. The KYJO will receive guest clinics throughout the season by WMU jazz professors Keith Hall, Tom Knific, Andrew Rathbun and Scott Cowan. In addition to multiple public performances throughout the region, the KYJO will conclude their season with a live recording session (recorded by Overneath Creative Collective) at WMU’s Dalton Recital Hall with guest artist, Andrew Rathbun.

About Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Lab Band

Students who aspire to be part of the KYJO but need more preparation may participate in our Lab Band beginning January 2018. This is the ideal situation for students to solidify their fundamental skills and grow as jazz musicians in a very supportive environment. They'll get lots of playing opportunity in a small group setting as well as guidance on their specific instrument.

The Lab Band will meet approximately every other Wednesday evening from 6:30 - 8pm beginning in January. We are still finalizing the location. The ensemble will primarily be led by KYJO faculty members Ben Schmidt-Swartz and Rufus Ferguson, with oversight by Director Benje Daneman.

The cost for the Lab Band program is $300 ($250 for sign up before Dec. 1) and it runs for 5 months (January through May) concluding with a performance in the KYJO concert at Western on May 30th and possibly one or two other performance opportunities. The fee may be paid in full in January or in 5 installments of $60/month ($50 for pre-Dec. 1 registrations).

Additionally, Lab Band students may choose to benefit from the private lesson option we've coordinated. For an additional $300, or $120/month total for 5 months, the student can take ten 30-minute private lessons with one of our professional jazz instructors.

Please email us at jazzandcreative@gmail.com with any questions you might have.



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