Category Archives: Community

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).

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.

Jazz4Kids added to season opener

SRJO Jazz4Kids audience The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra opens its 2011-12 concert season with another of its highly popular Jazz4Kids concerts on Saturday, October 29th (4:30 PM) in the Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya. This concert is presented with special support from Seattle’s Child and PONCHO.

SRJO Jazz4Kids tromboneThis Jazz4Kids event includes instrument demonstrations, a “petting zoo” hands-on instrument display in the lobby (courtesy of Kennelly Keys Music), and questions from kids in the audience, and features pieces selected from main stage “An Evening with Ol’ Blue Eyes” concert that the SRJO is presenting on Saturday night.


Jazz4Kids concerts are presented at a nominal ticket charge ($1.00 per seat; Ticket price = $.01, plus a service charge of $.99 at for each child or youth, plus any parent, teacher, family member, or youth group leader accompanying them. You can print your tickets for the Jazz4Kids concert at home, but get them quick – past Jazz4Kids concerts have sold out!

Blocks of free tickets are also available to schools and community youth groups.

Seattle Child logo  Poncho logo

Click HERE to visit the SRJO Jazz4Kids page.

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17th Anniversary Season 2011 – 2012 Concert Series

SRJO 2011-2012 Season Brochure cover

This is the 17th concert season of the SRJO, and we want to thank all of our fans and friends for continuing to support our performances with record attendance numbers and subscriptions. We think jazz is the perfect vehicle for transcending barriers in our community and for sharing the joy of live performance with people everywhere. Our family of jazz lovers is growing every month, and most of last season’s concerts sold out—so get your tickets early and join us for another season of great jazz!

—Michael Brockman and Clarence Acox

An Evening with Ol’ Blue Eyes:   The Music of Frank Sinatra

In a celebration of Sinatra’s many recordings with large ensembles, the SRJO presents big band jazz of Count Basie, Quincy Jones, and Nelson Riddle, featuring guest vocalists Danny Quintero and James Caddell singing their favorites in a tribute to “Ol’ Blue Eyes.”  Caddell is a longtime favorite with SRJO fans and is heard on recordings with Don Lanphere and Clarence Acox. Quintero is new on the scene specializing in music of Sinatra, hailed by all as a singer with talent far beyond his years.

Part of the 2011 Earshot Jazz Festival

  • Sat  10/29/11   7:30 pm   Benaroya Nordstrom Recital Hall
  • Sun 11/06/11   3:00 pm   Kirkland Performance Center

Benny Carter’s Peaceful Warrior: Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

The great trumpeter, saxophonist, composer, and arranger Benny Carter created a stunning five movement suite in tribute to our nation’s great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King. The entire suite will be featured in this concert, followed by some classic transcriptions from the SRJO library.

  • Sat   03/03/12  7:30 pm Benaroya Nordstrom Recital Hall
  • Sun  03/04/11  3:00 pm Kirkland Performance Center

North by Northwest: Music of Seattle’s Jazz Composers

Seattle is a hot-bed of great jazz performance AND great jazz composition, stretching back to the earliest works by Seattle’s own Quincy Jones and Ray Charles. In celebration of this continuing legacy, the SRJO presents music by their favorite Seattle composers, including Jovino Santos Neto, William O. Smith, Wayne Horvitz, Bob Hammer, Jim Knapp, and Milt Kleeb. Also featured are new pieces written by members of the SRJO, plus selections from Birth of a Band—the definitive 1959 recording by Quincy’s first big band.

  • Sat  04/21/12  7:30 pm Benaroya Nordstrom Recital Hall
  • Sun 04/22/12 3:00 pm Kirkland Performance Center

Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance II:  All Acoustic Jazz

In this second concert of our Harlem Renaissance series, the SRJO presents more fantastic music from the 1920s and 1930s, played as it was created and performed—with original instrumentation and completely without amplification. KPLU radio host Robin Lloyd serves as guest narrator, reading excerpts from the Ken Burns film Jazz, with depictions of the life and spirit of the Harlem Renaissance period. The program includes Ellington’s 1931 hit, Rockin’ in Rhythm, plus early hits by the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra: For Dancers Only, Harlem Shout, Lunceford Special, Le Jazz Hot and Charmaine.

  • Sat  06/16/12  7:30 pm Benaroya Nordstrom Recital Hall
  • Sun 06/17/12  3:00 pm Kirkland Performance Center

Download the season brochure (PDF) for complete details and order form. Subscribe by September 20 to save 15% off individual ticket prices and for priority seating assignments. 

A 10% discount is available for school and community groups of 10 or more. Contact the SRJO for details.

An afternoon of jazz on the beautiful grounds of The Bloedel Reserve

Bloedel Reserve Willow TreeWhile we won’t be playing under this wonderful old Willow, it’s always nice to take the band outdoors, especially in the summer time, and the venue is as beautiful as the grounds of The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island.

If you’re lucky enough to live on Bainbridge Island, join us on Sunday, July 17 at 4:30 PM and catch SRJO performing audience favorite from this year’s main stage concerts (on the mainland) without jumping a ferry. If you don’t live on the island, it’s a chance for a pleasant jazz getaway. Think of it as a mini-vacation, but check the ferry schedule (from Seattle || from Edmonds)!

No matter how you get there, the setting and the music will be outstanding. We’ll feature selections from “Jazz Goes to the Movies,” “Tribute to Benny Goodman”, “The Zen of Ten” and “Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance.” And, we’ll be featuring 17 of the most prominent jazz soloists and band leaders, including in-demand young players and seasoned veterans.

The Bloedel Preserve grounds open at 10:00 AM and The SRJO takes the stage at 4:30 PM – Sunday, July 17.

Seating for the show is at the Bloedel Mansion is on chairs under a tent, or optionally on the grass. Tickets can be purchased on line through Brown Paper Tickets, by phone (206-842-7631), or at the door.

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