When I heard that six Washoe County School District jazz students made Nevada All State ensembles and all of them members of the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra (RYJO) I knew I had to touch base with RYJO Director Vern Scarbrough. Vern and his wife Karen founded RYJO in 2006 and each year RYJO’s program has grown...
News and Articles
April 06, 2018 · By RJO · No Comments
March 09, 2018 · By RJO · No Comments
This article is a first for me. It’s not about jazz, but about our new partner sharing the old musicians’ union hall, the Good Luck Macbeth (GLM) theater group. GLM recently completed its first production, “The Royale”, at our shared building...If you are not familiar with GLM they have been presenting theater productions for ten years in Midtown and are strong supporters of the Midtown district.
February 12, 2018 · By RJO · 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...
January 15, 2018 · By RJO · No Comments
It is thrilling that the performing arts are returning to the musicians’ hall and the RJO is looking forward to a long productive working relationship with Good Luck MacBeth (GLM) and one more shout out to Brian Egan for making this happen! I have to say Reno is still the biggest little city in America and my story today is just one of many proving the point.
December 16, 2017 · By RJO · 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.
November 21, 2017 · By RJO · No Comments
I always thought that a big band was primarily a swing era dance band and as bandleaders like Duke Ellington and Count Basie explored new sounds they moved from the dance hall to the concert hall and the jazz orchestra was born. It turns out jazz orchestras date back to the early jazz of the 1920s...
October 24, 2017 · By RJO · No Comments
For the Love of Jazz (FTLOJ) is northern Nevada’s jazz go to organization to find and enjoy your favorite jazz. Founded in 1974, FTLOJ was and always will be a labor of love for the members who support and organize jazz events. ... I had the pleasure of speaking with the current president Scot Marshall and one of its founders, Bill Filter. Here is what I found out.
September 25, 2017 · By RJO · No Comments
The Reno Jazz Orchestra enjoyed a wonderful summer of jazz performances, the Labor Day weekend has passed, and the balloons have left Rancho San Rafael so it must be time for jazz to head back to school with the RJO’s fall mentor program. First maybe I should refresh your memories on what our mentor program provides. Through generous grants and donations, the RJO brings jazz professionals to select schools in Washoe County to work with middle and high school jazz bands for the semester at no cost to the participating schools and students. So how does this work?
August 25, 2017 · By RJO · No Comments
Jazz has had a long love affair with the song. All styles of American music from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway to rock, soul, blues, and country all find their way into the jazz lexicon. Jazz musicians and vocalists thrive on choosing songs and then personalizing that song with new interpretations... This Labor Day weekend the Reno Jazz Orchestra celebrates the art the American song through jazz “eyes” with Grammy nominated vocalist Denise Donatelli.
July 27, 2017 · By RJO · No Comments
Great singers bring the blues to life and we are blessed with great vocal talent in the Reno-Tahoe area. It is a thrill that five of my favorite local singers are joining us for this upcoming concert. Some have performed with us several times and some are joining us for the first time so let me introduce them to you.