Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra

Talent, skill, exuberance, verve - the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra showcases each of these traits in every performance. Featuring the high flyers from a tremendous wave of young Scottish jazz players

The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra (TSYJO) provides access for talented young jazz musicians to develop and perform on a regular basis in an exceptional youth jazz orchestra. TSYJO attracts some of the best young jazz musicians in the country who effectively constitute the youth wing of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO).


Recent Updates

The TSYJO Live 2023

The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra continues celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023 with stunning concerts that bring alive the energy of jazz and pays tribute to some legendary names.

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The TSYJO Live 2022

The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra is delighted to start their 20th anniversary year with two stunning concerts that bring alive the energy of jazz and pay tribute to some legendary names.

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TSYJO auditions

Our audition process will run until Friday, 5th November and we’re inviting all experienced improvisers who are able to sight-read, aged between 12 and 24 years to apply to join the SNJO’s youth wing.

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Visit the SNJO / TSYJO Music Store for CDs and downloads

Orchestra Origin

Tommy Smith set up the TSYJO in 2002 to compete with the student paid organisations and offer a place where talented musicians could be part of a first-class big band for free; all you needed was your skill.

Smith funded the organisation himself for two years until support was successful from the Scottish Arts Council. Along the way he met great opposition from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra from Scotland and the Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra but  prevailed. His youth orchestra is now the best in the country.


Membership of the TSYJO is based only on the ability to play rather than to pay. We want to ensure that there is no barrier to participation, our “free for all” policy, therefore, requires no financial commitment from musicians or family. We reimburse costs such as:

  • Any travel costs, if required
  • Any accommodation costs, if required
  • Any meals, if away on tour and required to stay overnight


  •  Big Band rehearsals with Tommy Smith
  • Live Performances
  • Participate in Studio & Live Recordings
  • Collaborations with special Guest Artists
  • Mentoring from members of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra


  • To promote regular concerts throughout Scotland to enable the TSYJO to grow musically through the experience of performing for live audiences
  • To stimulate the pursuit of jazz role models by providing inspiration and opportunities for young musicians to express themselves on a public stage
  • To tour with the best young jazz musicians in Scotland and reach out to other promising gifted young musicians in schools throughout Scotland to give an incentive for students to perceive and pursue higher goals and visions in the jazz language
  • To continue to integrate a variety of special guests from the professional SNJO and other experienced jazz artists into the youth jazz orchestra in order to inspire, mentor and coach the young musicians to higher levels of achievement
  • To create and promote large-scale educational projects, concerts and recordings that involve amateur Scottish jazz musicians from the SNJO’s youth wing alongside professional musicians from the SNJO and special guests.

£5 tickets for all 16-25 year olds

Youth Card

We want to encourage all young music enthusiasts to come and hear great Jazz, be inspired to learn more about Jazz, play music or even consider joining the TSYJO.

The TSYJO Jazz vision embraces

  • The Pursuit Artistic Excellence and Experimentation
  • The Perpetuation of Orchestral Jazz and Accessibility
  • The Promote of Public Understanding and Appreciation of Jazz
  • The Performance of Original and Historic Music
  • Creative Learning to Inspire
  • Jazz for All

Contact us

Scottish National Youth Orchestra logo
Scottish National Youth Orchestra logo

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