Annie Mitchell rapt in world of jazz with WAYJO

Annie Mitchell rapt in world of jazz with WAYJO

WITH two older brothers rapt in the world of jazz, it was only fitting that Annie Mitchell would follow suit.

The bubbly 19-year-old is one of three vocalists with the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO).

Her brothers – one a pianist and the other a guitarist – were members of the collective in their younger days.

“Funnily enough, both my parents aren’t musicians but they had three musician kids,” Mitchell said.

“I always saw my brothers doing jazz and thought: ‘I have to do that, I really want to do that’.”

Mitchell will perform the classics of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Bernard “Buddy” Rich with WAYJO this month.

She discovered her voice at a young age, going on to take professional lessons in Year 6 and later singing in bands.

“In pre-primary we would go around the mat and all get to have a sing with the marker,” she said.

“I remember that as a distinct moment when I thought: ‘I really love this’.”

The teen is a “huge fan” of jazz artists Dionne Slater, Gretchen Parlato, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, but does not limit herself to the one genre.

“I’ve got a great community with WAYJO and I hang out with those guys a lot and we’re all really into jazz, but I also study contemporary music at WAAPA,” Mitchell said.

“I love soul and r&b: jazz is a real classic form and if you’re studying music it’s definitely a key genre to really look into.

“The thing about jazz is that you never know enough about it – you get ankle-deep in it and then realise there’s so much more.”

Mitchell’s dream is to record an album of original songs in a crossover between contemporary and jazz.

“I’ve just started looking into how to write my own music and get a good sound and try to find my own personal voice and niche,” she said.


What: Ella, Dizzy & Buddy

When: May 13

Where: Astor Theatre, Mt Lawley