June Edith Fredericks - December 28, 2021
Our accountant and manager from 1983 - 2006
With great sadness, we announce the death of longtime friend of the CJO, June Fredericks, on Tuesday, December 28, 2021. June was the accountant/manager of the Jazz Members Big Band/Chicago Jazz Orchestra from 1983 until 2006. She was instrumental in the early success of the Jazz Members Big Band and its transition to the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. CJO Artistic Director Jeff Lindberg says, “If it were not for her dedicated work for the organization, the CJO would not be where it is today. The love that she held for the orchestra was very strong, and she will be sorely missed.”
Rest in peace, friend.
Michael Young - December 24, 2021
Our swinging bass trombone player and friend for 42 years
With deep sadness, we announce the death of a longtime member of the CJO. Michael Young, our bass trombonist, passed away on Friday morning, December 24, 2021. Mike played his first gig with the Jazz Members Big Band on Sunday, December 2, 1979, and was essentially the group’s regular bass trombonist until his passing. His last performance with the CJO was on October 17, 2021 at Winter’s Jazz Club. Thus, his tenure with the orchestra spanned over 42 years. Mike’s solid, swinging playing, which anchored the brass section––and the entire orchestra––was appreciated by all who played with the CJO as well as by our audiences. He had a great sense of humor and was always a delight to have on the bandstand. Mike’s musicianship, dedication and commitment to the CJO, and warm friendship will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Ruthie, and to all of his family members.
“Mike was loved by all and I always think of him in connection with the 'Members' big band and all the great experiences we've had since the early eighties. His musicianship was impeccable and he anchored the bass bone spot with such amazing authority. Besides that he was always pleasant to be around and one of the funniest people I knew. Many a time I roomed with Mike on our "road trips" (mostly to the Kennedy Center) and I found that we could talk about just about anything and he made it so interesting. I will really miss you Mike.”
“I'm going to miss him, and his cheerful enthusiasm
when talking about music, and food/restaurants...
his infectious, hearty laugh, and hilarious sense of humor.
He was a one-of-a-kind guy.
Here is a pic from the Kennedy Center trip days,
prob 20 years ago.”
“Mike and I were very close and often shared rides and hung out. Of course, we had great fun with the CJO and I thank you for that. I’m very, very sad about this. I last saw him back in the summer on a Brian Patti gig with Doug and others. This hurts. He’ll certainly be missed.”
Slide Hampton - November 18, 2021
Our colleague, collaborator, and Honorary Director
On November 18, 2021, the world lost a great artist, and the CJO lost a dear friend and colleague. Slide Hampton was truly an American treasure. A Grammy Award-winning trombonist, composer, and arranger, Slide generously shared his time and invested in the next generation of American jazz musicians. His collaboration with the CJO was unforgettable, and we are grateful for his service as one of our honorary directors.