The Toledo Jazz Orchestra is a musical ensemble based in Toledo, Ohio. The ensemble is a traditional big band, generally featuring between ten and twenty performers, depending on the instrumentation called for in a given piece or seasonal roster.
Performances have included work with a number of well-known jazz artists, including Stan Kenton Orchestra drummer Peter Erskine.
The TJO started in the 1980s, according to the obituary of former director David Melle. In the first decade of the 21st century, the group split from the similarly named Toledo Jazz Society (renamed the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Society), then went dormant for two years before a re-emergence in 2010 as an 18-piece ensemble. The group now exists as an independent nonprofit organization.Membership is largely made up of area performing professionals and music faculty of regional universities, including (as of 2013) a winner of the prestigious International Trumpet Guild solo competition award.
A big band or jazz orchestra is a type of musical ensemble of jazz music that usually consists of ten or more musicians with four sections: saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a rhythm section. Big bands originated during the early 1910s and dominated jazz in the early 1940s when swing was most popular. The term "big band" is also used to describe a genre of music, although this was not the only style of music played by big bands.
Arthur Tatum Jr. was an American jazz pianist who is widely regarded as one of the greatest in his field. From early in his career, Tatum's technical ability was acclaimed by fellow musicians as extraordinary. Tatum also extended the vocabulary and boundaries of jazz piano far beyond his initial stride influences, and established new ground in jazz through innovative use of reharmonization, voicing, and bitonality.
Peter Erskine is an American jazz drummer who was a member of the jazz fusion groups Weather Report and Steps Ahead.
David Nathaniel Baker Jr. was an American jazz composer, conductor, and musician from Indianapolis, as well as a professor of jazz studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Baker is best known as an educator and founder of the jazz studies program. From 1991 to 2012, he was conductor and musical and artistic director for the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He has more than 65 recordings, 70 books, and 400 articles to his credit.
Stanley Newcomb Kenton was an American popular music and jazz artist. As a pianist, composer, arranger and band leader, he led an innovative and influential jazz orchestra for almost four decades. Though Kenton had several pop hits from the early 1940s into the 1960s, his music was always forward-looking. Kenton was also a pioneer in the field of jazz education, creating the Stan Kenton Jazz Camp in 1959 at Indiana University.
Tim Hagans is an American jazz trumpeter, arranger, and composer. He has been nominated for three Grammy Awards: Best Instrumental Composition for "Box of Cannoli" on The Avatar Sessions ; Best Contemporary Jazz Album for Animation*Imagination ; and Best Contemporary Jazz Album for Re-Animation.
Laurindo Almeida was a Brazilian guitarist and composer in classical, jazz, and Latin music. He and Bud Shank were pioneers in the creation of bossa nova. Almeida was the first guitarist to receive Grammy Awards for both classical and jazz performances. His discography encompasses more than a hundred recordings over five decades.
William Joseph Russo was an American composer, arranger, and musician from Chicago, Illinois, United States.
Henry Jacob "Hank" Levy was an American jazz composer and saxophonist whose works often employed unusual time signatures. He is best known as a big band composer for Stan Kenton and the Don Ellis Orchestra, as well as the founder and long-time director of Towson University's Jazz Program.
Willis Leonard Holman, known professionally as Bill Holman, is an American composer, arranger, conductor, saxophonist, and songwriter working in jazz and traditional pop. His career is over seven decades long, having started with the Charlie Barnet orchestra in 1950.
Third stream is a music genre that is a fusion of jazz and classical music. The term was coined in 1957 by composer Gunther Schuller in a lecture at Brandeis University. Improvisation is generally seen as a vital component of third stream.
Raymond Harry "Ray" Brown is an American composer, arranger, trumpet player, and jazz educator. He has performed as trumpet player and arranged music for Stan Kenton, Bill Watrous, Bill Berry, Frank Capp – Nat Pierce, and the Full Faith and Credit Big Band.
Cuban Fire! is an album by Stan Kenton and his orchestra released in 1956 by Capitol Records. This was Stan Kenton's big band's first full-length recording of Afro-Cuban-styled music. The LP charted for four weeks in Billboard starting on September 15, 1956, peaking at #17. The concept of the original 1956 recording centers on the Cuban Fire! suite Kenton had commissioned from composer Johnny Richards. The 1991 CD re-issue is augmented with one extra track from the 1956 sessions and five cuts recorded four years later by the first of Kenton's mellophonium orchestras.
City of Glass, an album originally issued as a 10" LP by Stan Kenton, consists entirely of the music of Bob Graettinger. The original album has been reconstituted in different LP re-issues, and the entire set of Kenton/Graettinger Capitol Records sessions is on the digital CD City of Glass.
Robert Harry "Bob" Curnow is an American musician who served as a trombonist, staff arranger and producer for the Stan Kenton Orchestra during the 1960s and 1970s. As a composer and arranger he has become well known for large ensemble jazz music set to contemporary fusion and rock music of groups such as Chicago, Blood, Sweat and Tears, and the Yellowjackets. Most notably he arranged the music for and produced the award-winning and critically acclaimed CD, Bob Curnow's L.A. Big Band Plays The Music of Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays. His compositions and arrangements are heavily influenced by earlier writers for the Stan Kenton Orchestra such as Pete Rugolo, Bill Russo, Johnny Richards and Bill Holman. Curnow is currently owner and President of Sierra Music Publications, Inc., he is also prominent in the instrumental music and jazz education fields.
Stan Kenton Plays Chicago is a studio album by American jazz musician Stan Kenton and his orchestra, released on August 17, 1974, by Creative World Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at Universal Recording Corp. in Chicago on June 4, 5, 6, 1974. The sessions are entirely based on the music of modern rock n' roll groups, in contrast to Kenton's earlier work which primarily featured swing with some progressive jazz leanings.
Adventures in Jazz is an album by the Stan Kenton Orchestra, recorded in late 1961 but not released until about a year later in November 1962. The album won a Grammy Award in the category for Best Jazz Performance – Large Group (Instrumental) category in 1963. This would be Kenton's second Grammy honor in as many years with the first being Kenton's West Side Story winning the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 1962. Adventures In Jazz was also nominated for Best Engineered recording for the 1963 Grammys. The 1999 CD re-issue of Adventures In Jazz is augmented with two alternate takes from the original recording sessions and one track from Kenton's release Sophisticated Approach.
Kenton's West Side Story is an album by the Stan Kenton Orchestra recorded in 1961 and released by Capitol Records. It won the Grammy Award in 1962 for Best Jazz Performance – Large Group (Instrumental). The album was recorded in 1961 and released quickly to take advantage of the movie premiere of the musical West Side Story. Kenton won his first Grammy Award and he won again the next year in the same category with Adventures in Jazz. Kenton's West Side Story peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard magazine album chart.
Live at Redlands University is a double live album by American jazz musician Stan Kenton and his orchestra, released in late 1970 by Creative World Records. It was the initial release on Kenton's newly formed record company after he broke his relationship with Capitol Records. Recording for the album took place in Southern California at Redlands University in August of 1970.