Hone your skill in an all-star lineup

KAYJO offers affordable, off-season performance opportunities to accelerate your development.

Perform fun, challenging big band jazz

Share the stage with world-class acts

Hone your musicianship with other fast learners

Looking for a wholesome, high-quality program?

Band camps are great, and the dormitory-living experience ensures a week of great fun! But most camps include students at all levels of development, and they’re a little pricey for only a few days.

High-caliber students ought to have the chance to play and grow with other gifted musicians.

Young all-stars shine onstage with KAYJO

We help local All Region and All State musicians to:

KAYJO - Hone your skills

Hone their skills

Fast paced instruction under professional faculty and guest clinicians.
KAYJO - Expand your horizons

Expand their horizons

Learning to play big band jazz is one of the best ways to grow as a musician.

KAYJO - Be Positioned for Success

Be positioned for success

Students build confidence and discipline at KAYJO. Our alumni have gone on to attend and teach at major music schools nationwide.

For about the same cost as a one-week college camp, KAYJO kids get an all-summer experience with other students hand-picked for similarly their high skill levels. All KAYJO kids are All Region qualifiers, and typically, we have several All Staters!

And it’s an affordable program that won’t interfere with school band obligations!

Play with the best of the best in DFW

"I was fortunate to spend my junior and senior years of high school as a member of the jazz orchestra. I’m a firm believer that iron sharpens iron and that’s exactly what happened, spending every week working with other dedicated musicians my age. I have no doubts I wouldn’t be where I am today without this youth orchestra."
Myles Blakemore headshot
Myles Blakemore
Trombone, Class of 2010-2011

"I wanted to be in a band with other kids like me."

I was first chair at my high school. But I looked forward to All Region Band every year because that’s where everybody was “first chair.” All Region rehearsals moved much faster! I wished that experience lasted more than a single weekend a year.

In 2010, I started KAYJO so today’s motivated players would have that opportunity. My vision was to build something akin to an all-summer long All Region band. But KAYJO has morphed into something even more exclusive. Typically, 25-30 percent of our kids are All Staters!

A professional jazz clinician and bright college interns help the best young musicians in DFW become even better!

And as a parent I know the importance of affordability. We strive to keep tuition manageable. If you’d like to get involved, why not apply today?

– Gary Phillips, Founder, KAYJO

KAYJO - Gary Phillips speaking

What you can expect as a member of KAYJO

KAYJO - Professional jazz clinicians

Mr. Dimas Delgado is an award-winning jazz director with vast knowledge of the latest in jazz repertoire and the skill to teach it. Also enjoy visits from jazz faculties of Texas Tech and TCU.

Play with the best students in the area. Members are hand-picked based on audition, teacher referral, and/or their All Region standings. Rehearsals move faster through more challenging material.

During breakout sessions, work with a jazzer only a few years older than you are.

Play at Hawaiian Falls, Six Flags, and the Keller Lights Fireworks Festival.

We aren’t a “jazz camp”, we’re a community show band. But you’ll have many opportunities to prep for September’s All Region Jazz auditions.

Lay down tracks in state-of-the-art studios!

Share the stage with touring pros who turn a high-school concert into a community show.

KAYJO - Guest artists
KAYJO - Affordability

KAYJO is a great place to keep up your chops in a program that doesn’t conflict with your school band obligations. Work hard until late July, with a hard cutoff when marching band resumes.

Rack up volunteer credits when you perform for residents of memory care and assisted living communities.

Gain a whole summer’s worth of all-star experience for about the price of a one-week camp.

"My son Kennedy was one of the first members of KAYJO. He went on to UNT and played and played in the One O'clock Lab Band, a real dream come true! He earned his Master's in Church Music, was paid as a jazz band teacher during his studies there, and now is on staff as a Music Associate for First Baptist San Antonio, Texas. I know God sent Gary Phillips and KAYJO into Kennedy's life as his first real jazz band experience."
Kennedy Powers headshot
Donna Powers
Parent of Kennedy Powers, founding member (2010-2013)

Grow with KAYJO

1. Apply and audition

Complete an easy online application and then we'll schedule your audition. We also accept teacher recommendations.

2. Commit to the schedule

When you make the band, we'll make sure you can meet our rehearsal and performance dates. We'll also accept your tuition at this time.

3. Excel musically

You'll improve your skills, perform onstage with world-class musicians, and be well-prepared for a career in music--or wherever life takes you.

"During my two summers with KAYJO, I gained invaluable performance experience playing lead trumpet and as a featured soloist. I got to perform at many venues around DFW and record an album! KAYJO was an incredible resource that helped me grow; just a few years after my time there, I was able to win auditions for The United States Army Field Band and The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”, premier military bands in Washington D.C.
I highly recommend KAYJO to all dedicated, young musicians!”
Ryan Brewer headshot
Staff Sgt. Ryan Brewer
US Army Pershing's Own

Frequently Asked Questions

We recruit musicians from all over DFW, including outlying areas that are often left behind. We also welcome homeschoolers who are looking for a musicial education program for their kids.

KAYJO is not a substitute for private instruction. If you fall out of lessons you will fall behind. You must be in your school band or church praise team.

Auditions are open to musicially-qualified teenagers without regard to religious affiliation, race, or gender orientation.

Membership is by competitive audition or instructor referral coupled with All Region/All State standings.

We meet at local churches but church membership is not required. We will provide a schedule prior to any student’s commitment to KAYJO.

Seating is limited, so if you tie up a spot then don’t show up for rehearsals, you are letting down others in the band. A conflict (even a couple) isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. But call us in advance to discuss. Make on-time arrival and full attendance a priority. Don’t be “that guy” who holds back the section. The rest of the band is counting on you.

All kinds of places! We’ve performed indoor jazz concerts at churches and retirement homes. We’ve also performed outdoor jazz concerts at Keller Lights (July 4th) and Hawaiian Falls.

Transportation to off-site events is each student’s responsibility. Carpools can usually be arranged, and we are happy to help you arrange a carpool. But don’t wait until the last minute to tell us you don’t have a ride!

Parents are more than welcome to attend rehearsals.

Yes. Tuition depends on the length of the season/session. Every KAYJO member must have their tuition paid in full before securing their spot in the band. Tuition is based on overhead divided by the number of participants. Overhead does not decrease if a student quits during the season.

Unfortunately, we don’t have scholarships. (Remember, a scholarship doesn’t mean attendance was free. It means someone else paid for it.)

KAYJO is funded through student tuition and sponsorships, so the only way to offer a discount to one student is to increase the cost to others. Instead, we hold the cost down for everyone.

Compare KAYJO tuition to other programs, and you’ll find us extremely affordable (a fraction of the cost of a drum corps). Ask your band director if your booster club offers financial aid.

Give us a call at (817) 691-1205, or fill out the form at the bottom of this page!

Yes! Most enrollees are high school students, All Region or better. But advanced middle-schoolers can be admitted as understudies. These up-and-comers participate in all activities alongside more seasoned musicians. However, our rehearsals are faster-paced than most 8th graders are accustomed to. If an understudy is not concert-ready by gig time, we reserve the right to have them sit out some or even all of a performance.

Yes! Let us know what you need to document your service hours, and we’ll be more than happy to help you.

Give us a call at (817) 691-1205, or contact us through this website.

Think you've got what it takes?

Let us know you're ready to audition.
We look forward to meeting you!