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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

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

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

Let the Good Times Roll

June 02, 2018 · No Comments

On July 28th the Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) will present “New Orleans, A Night in the Big Easy” as a part of Artown. It seems a perfect match as Reno’s 150th anniversary coincides with New Orleans’ 300th anniversary!

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

Maiden Voyage- The RJO in MidTown

May 05, 2018 · No Comments

May 18th and 19th the RJO will perform at our new home “the Union Hall” in Midtown.  Our maiden voyage!  ...Our first concert features the big band music of RJO bassist and member of the UNR jazz faculty Hans Halt.  You will hear his original compositions, arrangements of great jazz standards, and transcriptions.  There will also be some special guests...

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No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · RJO Events

Young Lions Take the Stage

February 12, 2018 · No Comments

Why is the RJO so committed to this event?  The answer is simple.  Jazz is joyous and we want to share that joy.  Think of jazz founding father Louis Armstrong.  He set the standard that lives on today.  Of course, jazz imparts all the human emotions, but if there is one word to describe jazz I can’t think of a better one than joyous.  The RJO wants to introduce our students to jazz and encourage them to learn it, love it, and create their own brand of jazz.  That is how jazz stays vibrant and alive...

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No CommentsTags: Jazz Around Town · Jazz in the Schools · RJO Events · RJO Jazz Mentor Program

Jazz for the Holidays – A Gospel Christmas

December 16, 2017 · 1 Comment

Every year the Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) loves to host a holiday concert celebrating friends, family, and community.  We are pleased to announce Pat Ester’s Gospel Choir  will rejoin us in “Jazz for the Holidays – A Gospel Christmas”.  The performances are December 16th (7:30 PM), 17th (2:00 PM) at the Cargo Concert Hall in the Whitney Peak hotel, and 20th (7:00 PM) at Squaw Valley’s Olympic Village.  Jazz and Gospel, like much of American music, have their roots in the blues.  Both are joyful and when brought together a new, unforgettable, vibe happens that breaks the invisible barrier between audience and performer.  Those who joined us last year know what I mean.  It is an honor to work with Pat Ester’s Gospel choir under the direction of Lori Johnson.  Since jazz musicians and gospel singers rarely get a chance to join forces, this program is very special.

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1 CommentTags: Jazz Around Town · RJO Events