The Exeter University Jazz Orchestra was founded in 1989, then called the 'Anything Goes Swing Band' that later became the Exeter University Jazz Orchestra™ in 1994, with the vision of creating an opportunity for aspiring young jazz musicians to engage in the vibrant music scene in the southwest. Since then, members of EUJO have met to rehearse almost every Sunday afternoon to musically stimulate and challenge themselves in a creative yet informal environment.
Traditionally EUJO has embodied one primary ensemble, an auditioned Big Band consisting of 25 players, where players have the opportunity to arrange, write and play a range of challenging repertoire. However, in recent years the EUJO Small Band has been established, typically consisting of 4-6 players to cater for the increasing demand for additional smaller ensembles to provide background atmospheric music. Furthermore, to mark the successes of the last 25 years of EUJO, 2015 saw the launch of a new medium-sized ensemble, the Anything Goes Funk Band™. Named in commemoration of EUJO™'s history, the Anything Goes Funk Band™ is a 10-12 piece party and house function band built with the primary purpose of getting you dancing!
Over the years, EUJO has been privileged enough to have the chance to perform at an array of prestigious events and venues. Recent highlights include:
- Performing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the opening of the University of Exeterâ€™s new Forum building in 2012, as part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour
- Performing at the Wedding of the Vice-Chancellor of Exeter University in 2013
- Performing at a Classic Car day at the National Trust celebrated Killerton House in 2015
Many members have found the ensemble to be a natural pathway towards musical performance and opportunities on larger stages. Within the University, EUJO members are frequently sought out to direct and play in musical theatre productions, which in the past has culminated in members performing at festivals such as Scarborough Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Too, outside of the University, members have gone on to record as session musicians for commercial release, perform at some of the biggest UK festivals and play professional gigs with their own ensembles.