The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO), led by artistic director and conductor Charlie Young, presents another spectacular concert series delving into jazz’s greatest works and performers, playing in small ensembles or as full orchestra.
The 2014–15 season marks a 9-year partnership with the Smithsonian Associates, as well as the launch of a 5-year initiative to collect, present, and celebrate the works and legacies of jazz icons and innovators.
“The SJMO is renowned for reviving classic jazz tunes with an engaging blend of fidelity and finesse,” says the Washington Post. Jazz Times hails the group’s “vitality and skill,” and the New Yorker calls it "the best jazz repertory band in the country."
Don’t miss a chance to hear this orchestra, founded in 1990 with an appropriation from Congress in recognition of jazz’s importance in American cultural life. What other national treasure can claim to be as cool?
To learn more about the orchestra and the 2014-2015 season, click here.
Lush Life: Billy Strayhorn’s Centennial
Duke Ellington said that Billy Strayhorn was “my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brainwaves in his head, and his in mine.” This is borne out through Strayhorn’s enormous contribution to the Duke Ellington Orchestra, from early compositions “Something to Live For,” “Chelsea Bridge,” and, of course, “Take the A Train” to collaborative works like “The Far East Suite” and “Such Sweet Thunder.”
In celebration of Strayhorn’s centennial year and his 27-year collaboration with Ellington, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra delves into the considerable treasure trove of Strayhorn music found in the American History Museum’s Archives Center.
This program is subject to change.