Brussels Youth Jazz Orchestra

The Brussels Youth Jazz Orchestra (BYJO) was founded in 2008 at the initiative of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra in association with Jeugd en Muziek Brussel.

Between 2008 and 2015, every three years, following auditions, 17 promising young jazz musicians were selected to form an exclusive jazz orchestra, the Brussels Youth Jazz Orchestra. The BYJO built an extensive repertoire over three years under the artistic direction of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra with organisational support from Jeugd en Muziek Brussel. Twice a year an intensive week-long project was led by a guest conductor.

A high quality was achieved, with coaches such as Frank Vaganée, Bert Joris, Marc Godfroid, Florian Ross (D), Pierre Bertrand (Fr) and Bob Mintzer (U.S.), as well as musicians from the Brussels Jazz Orchestra accompanying rehearsals. The aim was to offer the BYJO a stepping stone in their career as musicians and of course to treat audiences to a fresh interpretation of contemporary jazz music.

It is a well-run and talented young group of musicians who paint an optimistic picture for future generations of jazz musicians. I thoroughly enjoyed working with BYJO, and look forward to following the paths of all the fine players in the band. — Bob Mintzer, USA