Leeds Jazz Orchestra
Winners of The Great North Big Band Competition 2017 for Best Program

Book the Band for Your Event

Leeds Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to the rehearsal and performance of Big Band Jazz under our Musical Director, Colin Byrne. We delight in an eclectic mix of repertoire from Bebop, Blues and Ballads through to cutting-edge modern Jazz Orchestra numbers. Classic big band arrangements from Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus sit alongside numbers written specifically for the band by up-and-coming new composers.

We love to perform and are excited by new opportunities. If you would like us to perform for your event, please get in touch. We can arrange a programme to suit – from sets of easy-listening dance numbers assured to get you moving and go home singing to rarely-performed, exciting Jazz Orchestra arrangements suited to Arts Centre concerts.

Leeds Jazz Orchestra is a fully independent, self-funded, not-for-profit band. We can be flexible regarding payment for gigs. We rehearse at Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre (HEART). We hold Public Liability Insurance to comply with venues’ requirements.

A little history

Leeds Jazz Orchestra has been in existence for many years in various guises.  The band was originally set up in 1990 as an adult evening class under the direction of bassist Barry Rickaby and in 1995 the orchestra migrated to Leeds College of Music’s Community Education Department .  In 2002 saxophonist Al Wood took over the leadership of the Jazz Orchestra and two years later in 2004, drummer Colin Byrne took the helm.  From 1990 to 2010 the band never had an official name and gigged under various names such as The Jazz Orchestra and the convoluted The Leeds College of Music Thursday Night Big Band.
In 2010 the Jazz Orchestra became a victim of the recession and was dropped from Leeds College of Music’s provision of service. However, through the efforts of Ruth Ker (bass) Liz Fox (alto sax) and John Tattersall (tenor sax), the band was resurrected and Leeds Jazz Orchestra came into existence as a fully independent, fully self-funded band.  
We currently rehearse at Heart in Headingley, Leeds on Thursday evenings from 7-9 pm. We are always keen to find new members so if you fancy playing with us just drop us an email.  We are also interested in hearing from composers and arrangers who would like to write for the band. 

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Speak to us directly
Call in to see us on Thursday Nights at Heart in Headingley, Leeds.
We rehearse there from 7-9pm.

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Book us for your event:
Email Ruth at ruth.ker@gmail.com