Chicago Jazz Orchestra Chosen as Kennedy Center Honors Gala House Orchestra
The Chicago Jazz Orchestra (CJO) under the direction of Artistic Director, Jeff Lindberg, is excited and honored to have been chosen to perform at the 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala on December 7, 2014 in Washington, D.C. This performance will mark the 26th consecutive year that the CJO has been chosen for this singular honor. The CJO will also be featured, along with singers Allan Harris and Dee Alexander on Saturday, December 6th at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in a program of repertoire made famous by Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington, among others. This performance is open to the public and tickets can be purchased at www.kennedy-center.org. This year’s five honorees include:
- Al Green – A singer with a style that is unlike any other, he has thrilled audiences with his classic R& B sound,
- Tom Hanks – An extremely versatile actor whose portrayals appeal to all generations, is beloved for the warmth and humanity that he brings to his roles,
- Patricia McBride – A ballerina who continues to inspire today’s generation of dancers with the beauty and fluidity of her style,
- Sting – Unique songwriting and vocals set him apart as an example of excellence in the arts,
- Lily Tomlin – Her individual style of humor has delighted audiences for decades and she continues to surprise us with her wit.
The President and Mrs. Obama will receive the honorees and members of the Artists Committee who nominate them, along with the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the Gala performance. The medallions will be presented to the honorees on Saturday, December 6th at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry. The ceremony concludes with the Gala dinner dance in the Grand Foyer on December 7th. The Chicago Jazz Orchestra (CJO) was founded in 1978 (Jazz Members Big Band) by Jeff Lindberg and the late Steve Jensen. Composed of Chicago’s top musicians, the CJO 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 became the first professional jazz orchestra in Chicago to present a yearly subscription series (1998-99). The CJO’s 2005 compact disc Clark Terry and Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra: George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess (Americana Music) received widespread critical acclaim, including a rare “five star” rating in Downbeat magazine. The CD has been voted among the top CD’s of the decade by Downbeat Magazine. The CJO’s newest CD “Burstin Out” features vocalist Cyrille Aimee along with the orchestra in beautifully orchestrated arrangements of some of the most beloved jazz classics.
The CJO receives support from The Stare Fund, the Illinois Arts Council Agency , The Joseph B. Glossberg Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Oppenheimer Family Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development. The CJO’s media sponsors are WDCB 90.9 FM, Chicago Jazz Magazine and Downbeat Magazine.