It just wasn't possible to fit the entire Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra in our Seattle studios, so a more reasonably sized quintet came in to preview the SRJO's exciting 24th season beginning this weekend.
Our listeners were treated to three highlights from the opening concerts, A Night at the Village Vanguard, at Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Saturday night and the Kirkland Performance Center Sunday afternoon.
The show is a bit of a catchall, honoring the wide variety of jazz greats who've played at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York City. Included will be the music of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis big band that eventually became the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, which still takes to the tiny stage every Monday night.
The SRJO's Co-Artistic Director and founder Michael Brockman, featured on tenor sax for this studio session, told us about the other shows upcoming this season as well.
NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider collaborates with the band in early November, the Sacred Music of Duke Ellington end-of-year concert will be held at St Mark's Cathedral, the annual Basie Bash focuses on the blues with guest vocals in the Spring, followed by concerts with special guest drummer Ignacio Berroa and a finale tribute to the music of Ray Charles.
Made up of the Northwest's top jazz musicians, the SRJO is an example of how the jazz community stays connected around here. The musicians are often working with students and future jazz fans in schools around Puget Sound, and work to make tickets to their concerts available to those who couldn't otherwise afford them.
The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the appreciation of the "unique American art form of large ensemble jazz in live performance." As a member of their board of directors, I am proud to be part of another northwest jazz organization working hard to make this area the world-class music city that it is.