The Walsall Jazz Orchestra

The Walsall Jazz Orchestra is a 19 piece big band which, unlike the vast majority of big bands, plays contemporary, rather than traditional big band music. The band plays pieces written by well known composers such as Pat Metheny, Mike Gibbs and Chick Corea, as well as a number of original compositions. WJO have released three CDs which have received rave reviews in the music press.

WJO founder and leader John Hughes died peacefully on Monday 18th March, at home with his wife and daughters at his side, after a brave eight-year battle with cancer. He was 78.

John Hughes tribute (pdf)

John Hughes memorial gig at the Forest Arts Centre on Tuesday July 9th:

A packed Forest Arts Centre last night celebrated the musical life and legacy of John Hughes, founder and leader of Walsall Jazz Orchestra for more than 40 years.

The current WJO line-up were joined on stage by Jazz@6 and New Generation Jazz – bringing together two generations of musicians from the WJO family, including John’s daughters and grand-daughters.

This was the first gig since John passed away – but the good news is that the band will definitely play on, with the next date at the Feathers in Lichfield, on Sunday 21 July.

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