Canada has a new National Jazz Orchestra (premiere performance 28 April 2022 in Calgary)

The country that has arguably given the world the best big band / jazz orchestra arrangers… now has a National Jazz Orchestra. The inaugural concert will be in Calgary on 28 April.

Bassists are among the most observant people in the scene. Remi-Jean Le Blanc has said: “Canada has a whole lot of great musicians and every sizable city seems to have its music community. However, probably due to the great distances between urban centers, I’ve always found that it lacks in inter-city collaborations, in a more country-wide community. This band is a great way to start bridging some of that gap.”

Quoting the press release:

“Canadian National Jazz Orchestra (CNJO) is a world-premiere project and a premiere performance showcasing a tapestry of Canadian jazz talent, including musicians, composers, and arrangers from coast to coast to coast. A co-production between Arts Commons and JazzYYC, CNJO is coming to Calgary, live, on April 28, 2022.

Conceived and produced by Calgary’s jazz collaborative JazzYYC, the CNJO is the living embodiment of Canada’s illustrious record of developing elite jazz talents. The CNJO is a country-wide uniting of jazz artists with an aim to build public awareness of jazz, and to inspire and educate young Canadian musicians. Each composer, and each piece, embodies the uniqueness and breadth of Canadian jazz music.

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Under the artistic direction of multiple award-winning and world-renowned big band leader Christine Jensen, the CNJO will pay tribute to Canadian jazz and perform new works inspired by the Canadian experience from composers Marianne Trudel, Philippe Côté, and Christine Jensen from QuebecBrian Dickinson from Ontario; Canadian ex-pat Darcy James Argue in New York; Derrick Gardner from Manitoba; and Jaelem Bhate – the inaugural Canadian National Jazz Orchestra Hugh Fraser Emerging Composer Award recipient – from British Columbia.

Join us at the Jack Singer Concert Hall Thursday, April 28, 2022.” QUOTE ENDS

Members of the CNJO. Source: Arts Commons Blog/ CNJO


Artistic Director: Christine Jensen

Saxophones : Tara Davidson, Allison Au, Chet Doxas, Claire Devlin, Shirantha Beddage

Trumpets : Jocelyn Couture, Derrick Gardner, Rachel Therrien, Andre Wickenheiser , Brad Turner

Trombones: Kelsey Grant, William Carn, Andrew Jackson, Isabelle Lavoie

Rhythm Section

Piano: Chris Gestrin

Guitar: Matthew Stevens

Bass: Remi Jean LeBlanc

Drums: Rich Irwin

Composers whose work will be played at the inaugural concert: Marianne Trudel, Philippe Côté, Christine Jensen, Brian Dickinson, Darcy James Argue, Derrick Gardner, Jaelem Bhate


Feature from the Calgary Herald

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