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the Chicago Jazz Orchestra

The musicians of the CJO perform at all sorts of venues for all kinds of occasions. You can hire the entire ensemble, or you can let us help you determine the best combination of our players to fit your needs. Read on to learn how to elevate your event from excellent to spectacular by including the jazz music of the CJO.


The CJO:
The Right Choice

Your event is important. The professional musicians of the CJO will make it unforgettable. We play large and small venues all over the world, tailoring each performance to the specific needs of each occasion. For 26 years, we played the dinner-dance at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. We were the first band on the first night of the first Chicago Jazz Festival. We played on Jazz at Symphony Center Chicago, and we perform our own concert series. We regularly appear on some of the most prestigious jazz stages in the world, but we also know how to create the right atmosphere for intimate receptions and everything in between. We purposely prioritize flexibility in order to be accessible to you! From small jazz combos to the full big band with strings, the CJO has got you covered.

Send us a message and let’s begin a conversation.

A Tribute to"Sinatra/Basie: Live at the Sands"

Performing Lindberg's note-for-note transcriptions of the original live album, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra re-creates the legendary Frank Sinatra/Count Basie recording, Sinatra at the Sands.

First performed: May 12, 2018 with vocalist Paul Marinaro.

Ensemble size: 17-piece orchestra and vocalist

Suggested occasion: gala event, special celebration, festival/concert series

Kurt Elling with The Chicago Jazz Orchestra

The #1 male jazz vocalist and Grammy-award winning recording artist, Kurt Elling headlines this spectacular performance with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. New arrangements as well as classics from their Kennedy Center appearances. Nominated for ten Grammy awards and 13-time Downbeat Critics Poll Winner for Male Vocalist of the Year, Kurt Elling sets the standard.

–19 musicians

“Exquisitely for Ella”: A Songbook Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald

A huge show featuring three great jazz singers paying tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. The program consists of soloists, backed by an expanded Chicago Jazz Orchestra including 17 strings, harp, and French horns. Works from Ella’s Great American Songbooks are featured, including Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen,  Jerome Kern, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Past featured singers have included Frieda Lee, Dee Alexander, and Spider Saloff.

– 40 musicians plus vocalists

– Can be downsized with less strings

A Tribute to Ray Charles

An exciting performance including original, vintage Ray Charles arrangements as well as charts from the Genius + Soul = Jazzalbum, Hammond B-3, three great Raelettes (The Chi-JO-lettes), a full big band.

–23 musicians

"The Grand Wazoo and Other Delights": A Tribute to Frank Zappa

The CJO presents an adventurous tribute to this great American musical genius: “The Grand Wazoo and Other Delights”: A Tribute to Frank Zappa. The show features a 15-piece CJO including saxophonist Ernie Watts, who was in Zappa’s band for the original recording of The Grand Wazoo, electric violinist Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), and electric bassist Dave Morgan, who created the arrangements for this show.

–16 musicians

Holiday Concert featuring Ann Hampton Callaway

Ann Hampton Callaway is featured with the CJO performing the original arrangements of Barbra Streisand’s “A Christmas Album.” The selections are fully orchestrated arrangements of holiday standards loved and cherished by all. Additionally, Callaway’s original composition, “The Christmas Lullaby,” which was recorded on Streisand’s second A Christmas Album, Christmas Memories, will be performed.

–40 musicians

Big Band Cavalcade

The Chicago Jazz Orchestra pays tribute to the great big bands from the height of the big band era, including selections from the orchestras of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman and more. A vocalist or vocalists can easily be included. In the past we have been joined by Paul Marinaro, Dee Alexander, and Alyssa Allgood. The concert is a definite crowd pleaser!

–18 musicians plus vocalist(s)

A Tribute to Sarah Vaughan

As we approach the 100th anniversary of Sarah Vaughan’s birth (2024), the CJO’s tribute is a show that you need to consider! Premiered for a sold-out audience (2,500) as part of Chicago’s Jazz at Symphony Center series, this concert promises to be the Sarah Vaughan Tribute. Featuring three fabulous singers with an expanded CJO (with strings, French horns, harp, etc.), the production includes Sarah Vaughan’s arrangements from her original recordings as transcribed by Jeff Lindberg. The original show included singers René Marie, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Dee Alexander.

–40 musicians plus vocalists
–Can be downsized with less strings

A Tribute to Nancy Wilson

This tribute was premiered by the CJO at Chicago’s Studebaker Theater shortly before Nancy Wilson’s passing in late 2018. The tribute includes three marvelous singers with the CJO performing masterful Nancy Wilson arrangements––from her work with the Cannonball Adderley Quintet to Gerald Wilson’s full orchestral settings. The original production included singers Roberta Gambarini, Bobbi Wilsyn, and Sarah Marie Young.

–40 musicians plus vocalists
–Can be downsized with less strings

"Sophisticated Giant": A Tribute to Dexter Gordon

Jeff Lindberg transcribed the original Slide Hampton arrangements from the landmark Dexter Gordon recording, Sophisticated Giant, and arranged them for the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. The CJO’s original performance featured saxophonist Joshua Redman. 

-14 musicians

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