News and Articles

Stan Kenton - Artistry in Jazz

October 31, 2019 · 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...

[

No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · Jazz History · RJO Events

Jazz Orchestras, A Great American Heritage

October 06, 2019 · 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...

[

No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · Jazz History · RJO Events · RJO History

A Family Of Music

September 10, 2019 · 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. 

[

No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · Jazz in the Schools · RJO History

Kurt Elling – An American Music Journey

August 11, 2019 · 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...

[

No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · RJO Events · Special Guest Artists

A Loving Tribute to Aretha Franklin

July 12, 2019 · 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.

[

No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · Jazz History · RJO Events · Special Guest Artists

A Jazz Orchestra for the New Millennium

June 13, 2019 · 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?


[

No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · Jazz History · RJO Events

Reno Jazz Festival, 57 Years of Great Jazz

May 22, 2019 · 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...

[

No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · RJO Events · Jazz History · RJO History · Local Related Events

Where in the World Will Jazz Take You?

April 11, 2019 · 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. 

[

No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · Jazz History · RJO History

Business, Non-Profits, and All That Jazz

March 19, 2019 · No Comments

This month’s article illustrates the synergy between business, non-profits, and what the Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) does best… All that Jazz.  We will be performing April 30th at our home in Midtown for a Northern Nevada HOPES fundraiser and later that week May 2nd at the Chateau in Incline Village to fundraise for Tahoe Family Solutions.  It is the generosity of local businesses sponsoring the RJO’s performance at both events which brings together jazz and non-profits.

[

No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · Local Related Events · RJO Events · RJO Jazz Mentor Program

RJO Concert Season of 2019

February 12, 2019 · No Comments

Kurt Elling and a Loving tribute to Aretha Franklin headline the RJO concert season

With a successful Jazz in the Schools weekend in our rear-view mirror I thought now would be a good time to let you know what the rest of 2019 will bring.  Let me start with our two summer programs...

[

No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · Jazz in the Schools · RJO Events · Special Guest Artists