QYO Big Band (BB)

The QYO Big Band is based in Brisbane and regulary performs in Brisbane, and on tour through regional Queensland and Australia wide. Conductor Rafael Karlen programs advanced big band charts, both instrumental and with vocalist.

Since its establishment, the band has performed at the Darling Harbour Jazz Festival in Sydney, the Winton Outback Festival, Brisbane’s River Festival, the Noosa Jazz Festival and the Redland Spring Festival. Big Band has been able to maintain an ongoing relationship with Troy Cassar-Daley over the past two years and has performed with him at the Ocean View Winery.

Watch the QYO Big Band perform Evan Lohning’s Stand Up and Be Counted:

Big Band Application Information


  • 18 piece jazz band
  • Standard & advanced big band repertoire
  • Current conductor:  Rafael Karlen (since 2013)
  • Rehearsals:  Sundays 6pm-8.45pm
  • Proposed regional tour in July 2016
  • Min. AMEB Grade 6 (guide only)   
  • Maximum age limit as at 31 Dec 2016: 23 years
  • Alto saxophone (2), tenor saxophone (2), baritone saxophone (1)
  • Trumpet (4), trombone (3), bass trombone (1)
  • Rhythm guitar (1), electric or double bass (1)    
  • Piano (1), vocalist (1)
  • Drumkit (1), vibraphone (1)


Conductor Rafael Karlen

Rafael graduated from Griffith University, Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2004, with a Bachelor in Contemporary Music Performance in Saxophone. He received the Lord Mayor’s Fellowship for Young and Emerging Artists from the Brisbane City Council in 2011 to undertake study in Europe and has recently returned following the completion of his Masters of Music Degree at the University of York in England.

His debut album with the Brisbane-based ensemble the West End Composers Collective, received critical acclaim and featured Rafael as a composer, saxophonist and flautist. In 2009, he was a finalist in the Bell Awards for both Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year and Best Jazz Composition of the Year categories, received a Q150 Composer Commission, and was the 2009 Composer-in-residence with the West Australia Youth Jazz Orchestra. Rafael also attended the 2009 International Jazz and Creative Music Workshop at the Banff Centre in Canada. In 2008, Rafael was a finalist in the APRA/JMO National Big Band Composition Competition in Sydney. Rafael has toured throughout Australia and regularly works as a composer, performer and arranger in a broad range of musical styles.


QYO Big BandQYO Big Band