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Dunedin Youth Jazz Festival


The Dunedin Youth Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of the jazz being made by young musicians in Dunedin and surrounding areas. Founded in 2018, the DYJF traditionally consists of:


A competition for High School Big Bands and combos

A workshop with the guest adjudicator

A showcase concert featuring the adjudicator and local musicians


In 2024, the band competitions of the DYJF will be held at Hanover Hall on Friday August 3, from 9am to 3pm. The adjudicator for the event will be Wellington tenor saxophonist Oscar Laven, who will also deliver a workshop on the Saturday afternoon (1-3) and perform in the showcase concert at the Dunedin Jazz Club (7:30pm).


The deadline for registrations is Friday 31 May. Music teachers and / or band directors should fill out the attached PDF and email to


DYJF registration form

Stage map

For the Big Band competition, ensembles are required to perform THREE pieces of their own choosing, with at least one in SWING style and one in a STRAIGHT style and a maximum performance time of 20 minutes. Ensembles will be given 5 minutes on stage to warm and tune-up, but MUST have a warm-up piece (or excerpt) of a piece rehearsed for this purpose.


For the Small Combo competition, ensembles may perform one to two pieces in any style, with a maximum performance time of 10 minutes.


The adjudicator will award GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE and participation awards to ensembles, depending on the level of their overall performance. There are also category awards for the Best Combo, Best performance of a Straight piece by a Big Band and the Best Performance of a Straight Piece by a Big Band. Individual awards are also made to the best performance and most promising performer on each instrument of the Big Band.

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