Canada has a new National Jazz Orchestra (premiering April 28, 2022 in Calgary) – London Jazz News


The country that gave the world arguably the best big band arrangers/jazz orchestra… now has a national jazz orchestra. The inaugural concert will take place in Calgary on April 28.

Bass players are some of the most observant people on the scene. Rémi-Jean Le Blanc said: “Canada has a lot of great musicians and every big city seems to have its music community. However, probably due to the large distances between urban centers, I always found that there was a lack of cross-city collaborations, in a more national community. This group is a great way to start bridging some of that gap.

Quoting the press release:

“The National Jazz Orchestra of Canada (CNJO) is a world premiere project and first performance showcasing a tapestry of Canadian jazz talent, including musicians, composers and arrangers from coast to coast. other. A co-production between Arts Commons and JazzYYC, CNJO comes to Calgary, live, April 28, 2022.

Conceived and produced by Calgary jazz collective JazzYYC, CNJO is the living embodiment of Canada’s illustrious record in developing elite jazz talent. The CNJO is a national association of jazz artists with the goal of raising awareness of jazz and inspiring and educating young Canadian musicians. Each composer and each piece embodies the uniqueness and breadth of Canadian jazz music.

Under the artistic direction of the multi-award-winning, world-renowned big band leader Christine Jensenthe CNJO will pay tribute to Canadian jazz and perform new works inspired by the Canadian experience of composers Marianne Trudel, Philippe Côté and Christine Jensen from Quebec; Brian Dickinson from Ontario; Canadian expat Darcy James Argue in New York; Manitoba’s Derrick Gardner; and Jaelem Bhate – the first National Jazz Orchestra of Canadarecipient of the Hugh Fraser Emerging Composer Award of British Columbia.

Join us at the Jack Singer Concert Hall on Thursday, April 28, 2022. » END OF QUOTE

CNJO members. Source: Arts Commons Blog / CNJO


Artistic director: Christine Jensen

Saxophones Tara Davidson, Allison Au, Chet Doxas, Claire Devlin, Shirantha Beddage

trumpets : Jocelyn Couture, Derrick Gardner, Rachel Therrien, André Wickenheiser, Brad Turner

paperclips: Kelsey Grant, William Carn, Andrew Jackson, Isabelle Lavoie

rhythm section

Piano: Chris Gestin

Guitar: Matthew Stevens

Low: Remi Jean LeBlanc

Drums: Rich Irwin

Composers whose work will be performed at the inaugural concert: Marianne Trudel, Philippe Côté, Christine Jensen, Brian Dickinson, Darcy James Argue, Derrick Gardner, Jaelem Bhate


Calgary Herald report

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Henry R. Wright