The QYO Big Band has 19 positions available for jazz musicians. Conductor Rafael Karlen programs advanced instrumental and vocal big band charts. Planned performances in 2018 include a Concert at Twilight at the Old Museum Concert Hall, the QYO Finale Concert at QPAC, a performance at the Brisbane Jazz Club, other performances in South-east Queensland and a regional tour in July.



Would YOU like to Swing on a Star? Come join in the fun as the Qld Youth Orchestra Big Band directed by Rafael Karlen, with singers Adelina Martinez and Matt Copley, swings into Proserpine, Bowen, Nebo, Mackay and Moranbah for concerts from Sat 8 to Thur 13 July.

QYO Big Band Tour to North Queensland

Saturday 8 July - 7.00pm Community Concert at Proserpine RSL
Sunday 9 July - 1.00pm Community Concert at Poole St Hall, Bowen State School 
Monday 10 July - 11.30am Educational Concert at Nebo Memorial Hall
Tuesday 11 July - 11.30am Educational Concert at Powerhouse, Mackay Christian College
Tuesday 11 July - 7.00pm Community Concert at Powerhouse, Mackay Christian College
Wednesday 12 July - 10.00am Educational Concert at Victoria Park State School, Mackay
Thursday 13 July - 11.30am Educational Concert at Moranbah East State School
Thursday 13 July - 1.45pm Educational Concert at Moranbah Community Centre
Thursday 13 July - 7.00pm Community Concert at Moranbah Community Centre

Calling all Musicians from Bowen and nearby towns! Come along with your instrument to our free workshop at Bowen State School, Poole St Hall, 9.30am to 11.00am on Sunday 9 July 2017. Register at All welcome!


• 19 piece jazz band
• Standard & advanced big band repertoire
• Conductor: Rafael Karlen (since 2013)
• Rehearsals: Sundays 6.00pm-8.45pm at the Old Museum Building

• Min. AMEB Grade 6 (guide only)   
• Maximum age limit as at 31 December 2018: 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.


Watch QYO Big Band Perform: