News and Articles

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?


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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...

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

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. 

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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.

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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...

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

Jazz in the Schools 2019

January 19, 2019 · No Comments

Winter got you in a funk?  Get out of that funk by experiencing our annual Jazz in the Schools weekend 2/9 through 2/10.  The Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) will host a full weekend of big band jazz in the Church Fine Arts building on the UNR campus.  Under the guidance of Dr. Andy Heglund, Jazz in the Schools has grown from a one-day event to four, so let me tell you what you can expect.

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

The Art of Recording in Reno

October 31, 2018 · No Comments

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to two honorary members of the Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO).  They don’t take the stage but are vital in bringing the RJO to your ears.  Mike Eardley and Tom Gordon are local recording engineers with their own studios that record us, maximize the recorded sound quality, and mix all the tracks (each instrument is on its own track), and then make it ready for a CD or digital release.  These guys know their craft and turn a rough gem into a polished product that sparkles.  I think its magic, at least that is what they tell me! 

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No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · Local Related Events

Northern Nevada - We Love You Madly

September 21, 2018 · No Comments

The Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) turned twenty-one this year.  Thank you northern Nevada for believing in our mission and supporting us all these years.    In 1997 we started performing at the Continental Lodge on the corner of Virginia Street and Plumb Lane to standing room crowds.  Just three of the founding band remain, myself, trombonist Rich Lewis, and tenor saxophonist Jim Garaventa, but the spirit of the original band is still with us.  It is a strong motivation to share our love of jazz and inspire the next generation of jazz musicians...

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'Gem of a singer' Tierney Sutton

August 24, 2018 · No Comments

Labor Day. Our great American holiday is the perfect weekend to showcase the Great American Songbook. Many singers visit the Great American Songbook, but it is the gifted singer that can present a gem of a song in a new light by changing the angle a bit to reveal new facets.

Eight-time Grammy nominee Tierney Sutton is truly one of those gifted singers. The Reno Jazz Orchestra is pleased to share the stage with Sutton on Friday, Aug. 31 at the Cargo Concert Hall in the Whitney Peak Hotel and Saturday, Sept. 1 at the Sand Harbor Amphitheater in Incline Village... 

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RJO Honors A Trio Of Jazz Legends

July 24, 2018 · No Comments

The Reno Jazz Orchestra celebrates New Orleans' 300th anniversary with “New Orleans – A Night in the Big Easy” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday,  July 28, 2018, at Wingfield Park. This article features the music and musicians, but first a pop quiz...

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