The Chicago Jazz Orchestra (CJO), under the direction of Jeff Lindberg, announced today an exciting three-concert line-up for its 2017-18 season.
All three concerts will be presented in one terrific location ideal for enjoying live jazz, the Studebaker Theater in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building.
An exciting holiday concert, Not So Silent Night, featuring Duke Ellington’s Jazz Nutcracker, opens the Chicago Jazz Orchestra’s 2017-18 season at the Studebaker, Friday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss this new holiday tradition featuring the ENTIRE “The Nutcracker Suite,” the classic 1960 holiday album by American pianist, composer and bandleader Duke Ellington featuring jazz interpretations of Tchaikovsky’s "The Nutcracker,” arranged by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. This special performance also boasts an array of holiday classics arranged for big band, making the CJO’s Duke Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker––Not So Silent Night––a live music highlight of Chicago holiday season.
CJO returns to the Studebaker in the spring with “Sophisticated Giant”: A Tribute to Dexter Gordon, featuring special guest Joshua Redman, Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 3 p.m. This concert marks the live world premiere of “Sophisticated Giant,” a legendary 1979 recording by the late great tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon performing arrangements by Slide Hampton. Guest artist is the charismatic, internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman. Trombonist arranger Slide Hampton will also be on hand for the performance, which is made possible by the collaboration between Hampton and CJO artistic director Jeff Lindberg, who will be transcribing the arrangements from the original Dexter Gordon recording. The second act is sure to entertain with a wide array of classic jazz arrangements for the 12-piece CJO.
The Chicago Jazz Orchestra’s 2017-18 season finale at its new downtown venue is A CJO Salute to “Sinatra at the Sands” featuring Paul Marinaro, Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. Sit back and enjoy this live recreation of the famous 1966 “Sinatra at the Sands” performance, long considered to be the definitive live album of his career. The Chicago Tribune hailed CJO guest vocalist Paul Marinaro as having “one of the most beautiful vocal instruments in the business today.” Don’t miss this chance to travel back in time, one-night-only, to revisit a true classic.
CJO is in residence all season at the Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave. on the first floor of Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building.
Single tickets and season packages are on sale now. Single tickets to each concert are $35 (balcony) and $45 (floor). Save with a CJO 2017-18 season ticket: three shows for just $85 (balcony) or $115 (floor).
For tickets and information, visit chicagojazzorchestra.org.
“We’ve put together an outstanding season of historical moments in Chicago Jazz. From the iconic Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker to the live premiere of ‘Sophisticated Giant’ with Joshua Redman to a full live performance of ‘Sinatra at the Sands,’ there is something for everyone. The Studebaker Theater, a historical venue in its own regard, provides a perfect backdrop for CJO’s most prolific season yet!” remarks CJO Executive Director, Travis Rosenthal.
Founded in 1978, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra is the city’s oldest professional jazz orchestra in continuous operation and one of the oldest jazz repertory orchestras in the country. As recently as 2015, Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune cited the CJO as “one of the best big bands in the country.” For more information, visit chicagojazzorchestra.org.
The Chicago Jazz Orchestra’s 2017-18 season is supported by The Stare Fund, The MacArthur Funds for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Joseph B. Glossberg Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, and The Saints of Chicago, with media sponsorship from WDCB 90.9 FM,DownBeat Magazine and Chicago Jazz Magazine.
About Chicago Jazz Orchestra
The Chicago Jazz Orchestra (chicagojazzorchestra.org) strives to develop and promote an appreciation for and understanding of music for the American jazz orchestra as it was originally conceived, performed and recorded by jazz master composers and soloists.
When Jeff Lindberg and the late Steve Jensen first came up with their big band concept in 1978 (founded as the Jazz Members Big Band), they could not have predicted the remarkable metamorphosis that has turned a group of first-call musicians into what is now known as the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, a 17-piece premiere jazz ensemble that has garnered both national and international recognition.
Conductor and Artistic Director Jeff Lindberg is one of the foremost transcribers in jazz. As a result, the orchestra’s repertoire draws upon his vast library including the works of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Benny Carter, Oliver Nelson, Ray Charles. Because the CJO has its own transcriptions of the original recordings, much of the music in its concerts cannot be heard anywhere else. The CJO also performs compositions and arrangements by CJO members, including Associate Artistic Director Charles Harrison.
The CJO served as the resident orchestra for the Kennedy Center Honors Supper Dance for more than 25 years. In 2006, the Orchestra performed before a sold-out audience at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina. The CJO has toured Europe twice, including performances in Italy, Spain, Denmark and Sweden. The Orchestra has performed with such artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, Louis Bellson, Herbie Hancock, Jon Faddis, Kurt Elling, Jack McDuff, Kenny Burrell, Roy Hargrove, Marquis Hill, Walter White and many more.
The orchestra performs at a wide variety of top venues across the Chicago area, from The Green Mill, to City Winery, to the Spertus Institute. Merit School of Music is the orchestra’s educational partner, including day-long clinics that culminate with students performing alongside members of the CJO, master classes led by renowned guest artists and open rehearsals. The CJO also provides complimentary concert tickets to underserved public school students and their families.
The CJO’s recordings include Clark Terry and Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra: George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Americana Music, 2004), nominated “Jazz Album of The Year” by the Jazz Journalist’s Association, and a rare “Five Star” rating by DownBeat magazine, which also named it one of the top recordings of the previous decade. It also made the annual “top CD’s” lists of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz Times and Jazz Education Journal. To celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2013, the CJO released Burstin’ Out with vocalist Cyrille Aimée performing classic and original jazz arrangements. The CJO’s newest release is the 2017 compilation Live from Space, with live recordings from the summer of 2016.
For more information, visit chicagojazzorchestra.org.
our top picks