Imitate, assimilate, and innovate.” –Clark Terry
The Chicago Jazz Orchestra believes that education is at the forefront of preserving and promoting jazz for generations to come. Through educational outreach and residencies, the CJO promotes jazz from historical and performance-based approaches.
Currently, the CJO is in residency at Merit School of Music, a leading community music school in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. As part of the residency, the CJO:
- presents masterclasses with world-renowned guest artists and CJO musicians
- conducts clinics and side by side performance opportunities
- presents scholarships to students interested in studying jazz in college
- conducts open rehearsals at the school
- provides free and discounted tickets to students and families.
“Side by Side with the CJO” is a program that not only supports having CJO members share their expertise with public and private school music students in small group instruction and master classes, it also allows the students the opportunity to perform live with the full Chicago Jazz Orchestra.
Through this program, the CJO sends various musicians and instructors from the orchestra into a selected school to lead rehearsals. At the end of 8 weeks of rehearsals the CJO holds a performance at the participating school’s auditorium, with students opening the performance. During the CJO’s segment of the concert, students from the school join the CJO for a performance of the work they have been rehearsing. The program culminates in a performance by a combined orchestra of 30 or more musicians, giving the students the opportunity to showcase what they have learned and to actually perform “Side by Side” with the professional musicians of the CJO.