The Oxford University Jazz Orchestra is the university’s premier big band, bringing twenty of the university’s best jazz musicians together into one ensemble to perform modern, demanding, exciting big band jazz to the highest level of musical excellence.
Founded in 1991, OUJO is the university’s oldest jazz ensemble. The group rehearses and performs regularly around Oxford and beyond.
Besides our own regular concerts, we have performed at countless balls, events, dinners, and socials. In our colourful twenty-year history we’ve racked up various accolades, including playing at the OK! celebrity ball in London, twice winning the highly-coveted BBC big band award, and this year having the privilege of supporting headliners Sophie Ellis-Bextor and the Streets on the Oxford ball circuit. The band’s alumni include British trumpeter Mark Armstrong and Canadian jazz vocalist Diane Nalini.
OUJO plays a large, musically diverse and ever-expanding repertoire, encompassing big band classics and more contemporary jazz works, as well as original compositions by current and former band members. OUJO is renowned for the energy and vibrance of its performances, and we love nothing more than to put on a good show for our audience.
OUJO puts on at least three sell-out public concerts every year. The band represents the university twice annually in a Varsity jazz battle against its Cambridge equivalent, the Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra.
OUJO has performed at venues worldwide, including at the Oeuf de Jazz Festival in Le Mans, at the Glasgow international jazz festival, and in New York’s prestigious Bryant Park. In 2012 the band travelled to Canada, performing at the Toronto Jazz Festival, on the Rio Tinto Alcan state at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and on the main stage of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, supporting the Mignus Big Band.
Q: Is OUJO the jazz society?
A: No, although many of our members are involved with the managements of the jazz society and its weekly jams. See jazzsoc.co.uk for more information.
Q: I’ve written this really great piece, will you play it?
A:Maybe! We’re always keen to hear from musicians and to try out new musical works and arrangements. Drop an email to email@example.com for more info.
The Band – 2015-16
Trumpet 1 – Tim Davies
Trumpet 2 – Harry McSwaine
Trumpet 3 – Matt Ward
Trumpet 4 – Jonas Probst
Trombone 1 – James Graham
Trombone 2 – Alex East
Trombone 3 – Olly Roughton
Bass Trombone – Ethan Cunningham
Piano – Alex Wilson
Guitar – Max Kiener
Bass – Joseph Bradley (Vice-President)
Drums – Ben Varnam
Vocals – Sophie Cooke, Caitlin Brown, Liam Hyde