SRJO unplugged!

That’s right – an all acoustic big-band jazz concert – Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance II

Following its sold-out Harlem Renaissance concerts in 2011, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra presents more fantastic music from the 1920s and 1930s, played as it was originally created–with original instrumentation and without amplification – no microphones.

Meschiya LakeWe’ll present music of Jimmie Lunceford, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington (when he was in his 20s!), and Sy Oliver. The show will feature special guest vocalist Meschiya Lake from New Orleans, who specializes in singing with big bands using no microphone. Our special guest narrator, KPLU radio host Robin Lloyd, will read excerpts from the KenRobin Lloyd KPLU Burns film “Jazz” with depictions of life during the early jazz age. Program highlights include Ellington’s 1931 hit, Rockin’ in Rhythm, and 1932 hit It Don’t Mean a Thing, plus early hits by the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra, For Dancers OnlyYard Dog Mazurka, and more!

This show will also feature guest soloists selected from the Seattle area’s award-winning high school jazz programs, an annual special presentation. Last year’s Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance concert was a sold-out show, so get your tickets now.

  • Saturday, June 16, 2012 (7:30 pm) Benaroya Nordstrom Recital Hall – Purchase Tickets or call 206-215-4747
  • Sunday, June 17, 2012 (3 pm) Kirkland Performance Center – Purchase Tickets or call 425-893-6159
  • You can also order individual tickets by phone through the SRJO offices at 206-523-6159
Wait, there’s more!
Are you a fellow jazz lover in your 20s or 30s? Are you looking for something new and fun to do on a Saturday evening? Don’t miss out on this special first time event offer – $10 tickets to the SRJO’s Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance concert Saturday, June 16th at the Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall. Join us for a pre-concert get together at Elephant and Castle. The first 15 guests to arrive will receive a drink on us, as well as a chance to win raffle prizes and a chance to sign up for our limited 20/30 Club tickets for our very special November concert.

  • Where: Elephant and Castle – 1415 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
  • When: Saturday, June 16th – anytime between 5:30 and 7pm
  • RSVP to Stephanie at to purchase your $10 special offer tickets


North by Northwest: The Music of Seattle’s Jazz Composers

Bob Hammer

Bob Hammer

Our audiences LOVE the work of Bob Hammer. He is famous for his many works recorded by the Charles Mingus Big Band, and he has provided SRJO audience favorites such as his composition Monkish and his arrangements of the Mingus hits Fables of FaubusBetter Get Hit in Your Soul and Goodbye Porkpie Hat.  His newest work, “Rockland Sketches” is being premiered this weekend. It is both swinging and beautiful. It is a four-movement suite written in tribute to Bob’s former home in New York state.

Jovino Santos Neto

Jovino Santos Neto

Seattle is a hot-bed of great jazz performance and composition, stretching back to the earliest work of Seattle’s own Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.  In celebration of this legacy, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra presents music from their favorite Seattle composers: Bob HammerJovino Santos NetoWayne HorvitzMilt KleebJim Knapp, and Phil Kelly.

Wayne Horvitz

Wayne Horvitz

Also featured are pieces by Thomas Marriott and Bill Ramsay (members of the SRJO), and two pieces drawn from the classic 1959 Quincy Jones big band recording, The Birth of a Band, plus a morsel added just for fun: Duke Ellington’s 1938 masterpiece “Jack the Bear” featuring Seattle Jazz hall-of-fame inductee, Phil Sparks on bass.

  • Saturday, April 21 (7:30 p.m.) at Benaroya Hall in Seattle
  • Sunday, April 22 (3 p.m.) at the Kirkland Performance Center

These performances are the third set of main-stage concerts in the SRJO’s 2011-12 season.  A full listing of all SRJO concerts can be viewed at

17 of the past 22 SRJO main-stage concerts have been sold out (some with overflow seating on the stage). Advanced ticket purchases are highly recommended. Regular ticket prices range from $21 to $39 for the
series concerts, online at

In a special effort to encourage attendance by young people at SRJO subscription series concerts, the SRJO offers tickets for all jazz fans ages 25 and under at $15 (for all seats in the house).

Tickets can also be purchased directly from Benaroya Hall (206-215-4747)
or the Kirkland Performance Center (425-893-9900).

Tune to KPLU for “The Peaceful Warrior Suite”

SRJO performs Peaceful Warrior SuiteHighlights from a recent concert by The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra will air on Jazz Northwest from 88.5 KPLU on Sunday, April 8 at 1 PM PDT.  The concert features music by jazz great Benny Carter and the centerpiece is “The Peaceful Warrior Suite” – a Tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.  

The live recording of the SRJO performance of this five-movement suite includes excerpts from Rev. King’s speeches, and features bass-baritone Everett Greene and a small string section accompanying the band, co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman.

JIm Wilke - Jazz NorthwestJazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for 88.5 KPLU and streamed at  A podcast is available on the KPLU jukebox after the air date.

For more information visit the SRJO website or Jazz NW.

Taking Ol’ Blue Eyes on the road

Danny QuinteroIn a celebration of Frank Sinatra’s many recordings with large ensembles, the SRJO and guest vocalist Danny Quintero reprise their sold out tribute to “Ol’ Blue Eyes” with the big band jazz of Count Basie, Quincy Jones, and Nelson Riddle in a special appearance at The Seasons Performance Hall in Yakima.

Selections include Come Fly with Me, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Don’t Worry About Me, Luck Be a Lady Tonight and The Best Is Yet to Come, plus other great pieces recorded for the classic 1966 collaboration of Sinatra with Quincy Jones and the Count Basie band, Sinatra at the Sands.

Danny Quintero is rapidly establishing himself on the scene, specializing in music of Sinatra, and is hailed by all as a singer with talent far beyond his years, especially after his knock-out performances with SRJO last fall in Seattle and Kirkland.

Saturday, March 24th, 6:00 PM

The Seasons Performance Hall in Yakima

Click here to purchase your tickets.

This weekend: Peaceful Warrior Suite

You can still join us for Benny Carter’s “Peaceful Warrior Suite” – a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. – this weekend. Saturday evening’s show at Benaroya Hall Norstrom Recital Hall is nearly sold out. There are plenty of tickets still available for Sunday afternoon’s performance at Kirkland Performance Center.

Benny Carter - photo by William Gottlieb

The “Peaceful Warrior Suite” is a five-movement work composed by Carter in 1966 for a Lincoln Center concert tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King. It includes pieces written in swing, bossa nova, ballad, and jazz waltz tempos, and also calls for the SRJO to be augmented with a string sextet.

Everett Greene

The program will feature celebrated jazz vocalist Everett Greene, a touring singer with the Count Basie Orchestra, who has appeared previously with the SRJO, thrilling sell-out audiences at SRJO’s annual Duke Ellington Sacred Concert. In addition to singing the Suite, Greene will perform several other favorite vocal numbers, including the Charles Calhoun composition “Smack Dab in the Middle” (arranged by John Clayton) and Duke Ellington’s “I’m Just a Lucky So and So” plus selections he has performed in concert with the Count Basie Orchestra.

Travis Ranney - photo by Bruce C Moore

The band will also perform  two favorite works drawn from their historic library: Dizzy Gillespie’s original 1947 composition “Manteca” and Duke Ellington’s 1940 hit “Cottontail” (theme song for Ken Wiley’s “Art of Jazz” show Sundays on KPLU radio) featuring SRJO tenor soloist Travis Ranney.

Remaining tickets for Saturday evenings show are available by calling Benaroya ticket office at 206-215-4747, or by ordering on-line.

Remaining tickets for Sunday afternoon’s show are available by calling the Kirkland Performance Center ticket office at 425-893-9900 or by ordering on-line.

NOTE: Parking for the Saturday events will be effected by closure of the Russell Investment Center garage (entrance on Union Street, between 2nd & 1st Avenues) for a complete building power-down with Seattle City Light. If the Benaroya Hall garage becomes full, we recommend parking at the Cobb Building Garage (entrance on University Street, between 3rd & 4th Avenues), or the Puget Sound Plaza Garage (entrance on Union Street, between 4th & 3rd Avenues).



Jazz4Kids returns to Benaroya Hall on 03/03/12

Jazz4Kids band and audience

Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra presents another one-hour matinee for kids and families, the ever popular Jazz4Kids Concert

  • Saturday March 3rd at 4:00 PM
  • Benaroya Hall’s Nordstrom Recital Center

Jazz4Kids trombone playerThese highly popular events feature musical selections from our evening concert, instrument demonstrations, questions from kids in the audience, and a hands-on “instrument petting zoo” in the lobby, courtesy of Kennelly Keys Music, where kids can come and try out a band instrument!

Jazz4Kids concerts are presented at a nominal ticket charge of $1 for all children and youth, plus any parent, teacher, family member, or youth group leader accompanying them, and are presented with special support from the Glaser Foundation.

As one happy parent said,  “The concert was great – thanks to your organization and sponsors, our 20 month old loved it!! She was dancing and clapping the entire time, and her attention was captivated for the entire concert…. which is saying a lot for 20 months! Best – Julie G.” 

Advanced tickets are highly recommended, and are available at Brown Paper Tickets. Get yours today, we enjoy capacity audiences every time!

Marcus Pimpleton – KCTS 9 Golden Apple Award Winner

Marcus Pimpleton - Jazz ScholarsCongratulations Marcus!

Marcus Pimpleton is the music director of the Denny International Middle School, and the band director for Chief Stealth International High School, Seattle’s All-City Band, and Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra’s Jazz Scholars.

On Friday evening, at the Intiman Theatre ceremony, he became a recipient of the KCTS 9 Golden Apple Award for Educational Excellence, which have honored successful teaching models and programs among Washington state educators since 1992.

“In multiple positions—with middle school, high school and university students and the All-City Band—he builds bridges and creates innovative opportunities for his students to learn about life, leadership, volunteering and community through music and performance. In the classroom, Pimpleton saw many middle school students put down their instruments as they made the transition to high school. Aware of the link between music study and academic achievement, he pushed for a chance to teach both the middle- and high-school bands. In two years, the high-school band has doubled in size. He has also run music camps during school breaks and has seen retention rates increase. “The most powerful learning that takes place in my classes is not musical,” he says, “but the personal development that comes from students taking ownership.” KCTS 9

Marcus Pimpleton - Jazz ScholarsMarcus selects, directs and mentors the student musicians  for Jazz Scholars, SRJO’s school-partnered pilot program, providing jazz technique and instrumental music lessons for low-income and minority band students at Denny International Middle Scholl in southwest Seattle. “Marcus works very hard, has been crucial in developing the dynamic music program at Denny/Sealth, and is so deserving of this honor,” said Susan Jenkins, SRJO Board President and co-ordinator of the Jazz Scholars program.

Through its Jazz Scholars program, SRJO provides six professional instructors for weekly individual or group lessons in the six areas of band instrumentation, as well as assisting Marcus with sectional rehearsals for the entire band. We are extremely proud of his accomplishments, and pleased by his recognition.