Varsity Big Band Jazz off!

Friday -
Oxford and Durham's Jazz Big Bands
Varsity Jazz-Off!

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We know how our JASG patrons love to hear a Big Band! Now it's 2020, we bring you two at once in the celebrated and traditional 'Varsity Jazz-Off' coming to St Giles for the first time this year!

Oxford University Jazz Orchestra teams up once again with the 19 piece University of Durham Big Band for an annual grand evening of superb musicianship and comradely rivalry.

These are two of the country's leading student big bands, rightly celebrated for bringing a large repertoire ranging from traditional big band swing to hip hop, latin and funk to appreciative audiences wherever they play.

Join us for what we know will be a truly memorable evening in our 12th Century Oxford City church and help us kick-start the fund-raising for our 900th anniversary year in thoroughly modern style by raising our roof!

(Plenty of remaining tickets will be available on the door from 7:00 pm)

Durham University Big Band


Durham University Big Band is a fully-auditioned, student-run, nineteen-piece big band comprising the best jazz musicians in the university. They take pride in continuously reinventing what’s musically possible in the big band idiom. With a large repertoire ranging from traditional big band swing to hip hop, latin and funk, they are incredibly versatile in the types of venues and settings they are able to perform in. An ambitious musical attitude has led them to perform at multiple university and college events as well as internationally renowned jazz clubs across the country. They have won multiple awards at The Great North Big Band Competition over recent years as well as a Platinum award at the National Concert Band Festival in November 2019, and are proud to have worked with well-known jazz professionals/educators including Mark Armstrong, Pete Churchill, and Ben Cottrell. The band record a professional album or EP every year, adding to Durham University Big Band’s international reputation.

Oxford University Jazz Orchestra


The multi-award-winning Oxford University Jazz Orchestra, founded in 1991, brings twenty of the university’s best jazz musicians together into one ensemble to perform modern, demanding, exciting big band jazz to the highest level of musical excellence. The band’s alumni include British trumpeter Mark Armstrong, Canadian jazz vocalist Diane Nalini, saxophonists Carlos Lopez Real and Idris Rahman, and English National Opera conductor Steve Higgins. OUJO has performed at venues worldwide, including at the Oeuf de Jazz Festival in Le Mans, at the Glasgow international jazz festival, and in New York’s prestigious Bryant Park. Recent international tours have included Toronto, Montreal, New York, and Thailand. The band’s most recent album ‘Grand Central’ is now available on all major streaming platforms.

Durham Big Band 200x200 OUJO Logo