Every year the Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) ends our holiday concert with “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, a love letter to our community. During the course of the year we all tend to forget those things most important to us, so the holiday season is a time to give thanks to those we hold dear. For twenty-two years northern Nevada’s support has enabled us to bring great jazz and jazz education to the community. Today’s article highlights what the RJO has accomplished with your support. Let me start with our education programs...
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December 31, 2019 · By RJO · No Comments
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December 02, 2019 · By RJO · No Comments
This year the Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) is presenting “Home for the Holidays” featuring trombone virtuoso Bob McChesney, his wife vocalist/violinist Calabria Foti, special guests the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra, and a very special appearance of the “Hot Holly Dolls”! Performances are December 13th 7:30 pm and December 14th 2:00 pm at the Cargo Concert Hall at the Whitney Peak Hotel. After last year’s tour of holiday music from around the world we decided to stay home by the fire and cozy up to those great Christmas songs you know and love. Just jazzed up a bit! Both McChesney and Foti are artists in their own right with solo recordings who are also featured on other artist’s recordings, as well as movie soundtracks. Both are passionate music educators. Needless to say they are very busy folks and we are delighted they can join us.
October 31, 2019 · By RJO · No Comments
Each spring and fall we host a concert at the intimate one hundred seat Good Luck Macbeth theater in mid-town. This November 8th and 9th we are featuring the music of Stan Kenton, legendary bandleader and pioneer in jazz education. A perfect fit as our guest conductor is Vern Scarbrough, director of the Reno Youth Orchestra, and students participating in our Saturday morning jazz workshop open the concert. First, let me tell you about Kenton and his connection to jazz education...
October 06, 2019 · By RJO · No Comments
I have been fortunate to lead the Reno Jazz Orchestra since 2006, and over the years we have grown due to the support of our community. Thank you all! This month we will revisit the origins of the jazz orchestra, after which I will share three new RJO projects that honor the past and look to the future...
September 10, 2019 · By RJO · No Comments
It is my pleasure to introduce you to two members of the Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) family, Andy and Nichole Heglund. Andy has been the RJO’s drummer for over ten years and a past president. Nichole joined us this spring to head our jazz education programs.
August 11, 2019 · By RJO · No Comments
Artown has wrapped up and the Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) was honored to present “The Queen of Soul, A Loving Tribute to Aretha Franklin” to our community at three venues to full houses. Over the thirteen years of being the RJO’s Music Director people have gotten to know me and when out and about I will often hear, “hey, you’re the jazz guy”. A moniker I am happy to wear. It is the support of the community over our twenty-two years that allows us to bring great American music to the Reno/Tahoe area. That support has enabled us to bring one of the country’s greatest singers this Labor Day weekend to the Pioneer Theater and the Sand Harbor Amphitheater. His name is Kurt Elling and if you don’t know the name let me introduce you...
July 12, 2019 · By RJO · No Comments
The Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) will present “The Queen of Soul, a Loving Tribute to Aretha Franklin” July 15th at the Hawkins Amphitheater as an Artown presentation and July 22nd at the Sand Harbor Trepp Amphitheater. Both shows start at 7:30 pm. The RJO firmly embraces Duke Ellington’s famous quote “There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.” We chose this tribute to celebrate a true American original.
June 13, 2019 · By RJO · No Comments
The Reno Jazz Orchestra’s recent concerts at the Good Luck Macbeth theater May 31 and June 1 featured the compositions and arrangements of Vince Mendoza. I suspect most of you have not heard his name, but I am certain you have heard his music. With 22 recordings as arranger-conductor for a wide range of artists from Joni Mitchell to Joe Zawinul, 15 recordings of his original compositions, six Grammy awards and 25 Grammy nominations, his work is widely heard.
So why don’t you recognize his name? He follows in the legendary footsteps of other composer-arranger-conductors such as Quincy Jones, Oliver Nelson, Billy May and Claus Ogerman. Most of you have heard of Quincy Jones, but what about the others? All of these gentlemen were well-versed in both jazz and popular music worlds and expanded the musical palette of a jazz orchestra. This leads me to the topic of today’s column: What does the future jazz orchestra in the new millennium sound like?
May 22, 2019 · By RJO · No Comments
The fifty-seventh three-day Reno Jazz Festival (RJF) concluded April 27th and it thrills me to tell you twenty-six local school big bands, combos, and choirs participated and received accolades including outstanding Nevada High School ensemble and Middle School Choir...
April 11, 2019 · By RJO · No Comments
This month’s column introduces you to two Reno jazz artists, trumpeter Dickie Mills and saxophonist Chris Casaceli. Mills recently turned 90 and has been a Reno jazz stalwart since the 1950s and Casaceli is joining the professional music community after recently graduating from the University of Oregon.