“If it weren’t for BuJazzO, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” (Till Brönner)

"BuJazzO is a dream band for any composer/conductor." (John Hollenbeck)

The Bundesjazzorchester (BuJazzO for short) is the official youth jazz orchestra of the Federal Republic of Germany. The most talented musicians of the next generation come together with renowned pedagogues and conductors to form an ensemble that strives for musical excellence. Originally founded in 1988 by Peter Herbolzheimer, the Bundesjazzorchester is known today as the meeting point for the next generation of talented jazz musicians in Germany.

The artistic director team of Prof. Niels Klein and Prof. Ansgar Striepens work together closely alongside guest directors, to prepare, rehearse, and perform regular new programmes, both inside and outside Germany. With few exceptions, the young musicians, ranging in age from 17 to 24, study at German and international music conservatories. During their time in the orchestra, the musicians are accompanied by an impressive faculty of jazz professionals, who, in addition to giving instrument-specific instruction, support the young musicians musically as well as professionally, offering connections to their networks and providing optimal conditions for their growth.

After a successful audition, each member remains in the orchestra for up to two years. This allows for the next generation of new talent to join what has become an important stepping stone in the jazz scene towards a successful career. Amongst the approximately 900 alumni of the orchestra are such prominent musicians as Till Brönner, Roger Cicero, Tom Gaebel, Julia Hülsmann, Frederik Köster, Robert Landfermann, Matthias Schriefl, Sebastian Sternal, Peter Weniger, Nils Wogram, Michael Wollny, and Nils Wülker.

The project is generously funded by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, the West German Broadcasting (WDR), the German performers’ copyright society GVL, and Mercedes-Benz Group AG. In addition, the participants contribute financially through co-payments.
The Bundesjazzorchester is the winner of the Frankfurt Music Award 2018 and the ECHO JAZZ Award 2012. In 2012, the ensemble was awarded the West German Broadcasting Jazz Award, and won the German Music Award in 1997.

Since 2010, the WDR Big Band has been the Bundesjazzorchester’s mentor orchestra. BuJazzO has had a cooperation with the UK’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra since 2014, which was expanded in 2016 to include the Netherlands’ Nationaal Jeugd Jazz Orkest.

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