Composed of Chicago’s top musicians, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra is Chicago’s oldest professional jazz orchestra in continuous operation and one of the oldest jazz repertory orchestras in the country.
Conductor and Artistic Director Jeff Lindberg is one of the foremost transcribers in jazz. As a result, the Orchestra’s repertoire draws upon his vast library, which includes the works of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Benny Carter, Oliver Nelson, Ray Charles, and many others.
The CJO is recognized internationally, having been the resident orchestra for The Kennedy Center Honors for the past sixteen years. The orchestra has toured Europe twice, including performances in Italy, Spain, Denmark, and Sweden. The CJO's 2006 performances included a sold-out Spoleto Festival USA performance with singer Kurt Elling, an electrifying "Tribute to Artie Shaw" at the Ravinia Festival, and a blockbuster "Battle of the Bands" with the Count Basie Orchestra at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago.
The CJO’s recent compact disc Clark Terry and Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra: George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Americana Music) has received widespread critical acclaim, including a rare “FIVE-STAR” rating from Downbeat magazine, and a nomination as “Jazz Album of The Year” by the Jazz Journalists’ Association.
Jeff Lindberg represents a new breed of American conductors who are equally adept with the literatures of the American jazz orchestra and the European symphony orchestra. As well as holding the position of Artistic Director of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Mr Lindberg is Music Director of the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, now in its 90th season. Mr. Lindberg has received numerous commissions from the Smithsonian Institution for transcriptions of original jazz recordings. His transcriptions have been performed by such artists as Joe Williams, Clark Terry, Gunther Schuller, David Baker, and by such orchestras as the Count Basie Orchestra, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.
Honorary board members are Ramsey Lewis, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Harold Jones, Studs Terkel and Clark Terry.