SJO teaches local kids music, records George Duke’s “Bass Concerto”

Photo by Holly Stein COORDINATED: The Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, with Special Guest’s Christian McBride, Lee Ritenour, and Dave Grusin, presented a free community concert on Jan. 18 as part of the Carpenter Performing Arts Center “Arts for Life” seri
Photo Courtesy of SJO EARLY START: Kindergartners at La Ballona Elementary School in SJO’s Intro to Music. Through SJO’s Kindergarten 14 or 28-week, weekly music residency, students gain knowledge and understanding in key musical concepts. Areas of fo
Photo Courtesy of SJO EXPERT DEMONSTRATION: Culver City Unified School District second graders were able to watch and listen to SJO musicians perform in their classroom during a “Bach to Bebop” program class. SJO teaches more than 2,800 students in Lo
Photo by Sam Urdank SKILLED PERFORMER: Lee Ritenour during the recording with the SJO, on Jan. 19. The orchestra has performed in concerts throughout Southern California including the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal. State Long Beach, Royce Hall (
Photo Courtesy of SJO LEARNING: First graders at El Marino Language School learning to read notes and play bells. Students receive sequential, comprehensive music education taught by members of the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra.
Photo by Sam Urdank GROUP EFFORT: The SJO recording session on Jan. 19 featured SJO Music Director and Conductor Mitch Glickman, left, Chris Coleman, Christian McBride, Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour. The 67-member orchestra has commissioned 11 new works an
Photo by Sam Urdank UNIQUE EXPERIENCE:: Christian McBride was part of the recording opportunity with the SJO, Jan. 19. Since its debut in 2002, the 67-member Symphonic Jazz Orchestra has commissioned eleven new works, and performed six world premieres alo
Photo courtesy of SJO PRACTICE: Culver City third grade students get to practice during a woodwind “try- it” workshop. The orchestra’s first-third grade residency program introduces students to music theory, singing, and solfege, as they learn to ma

After an extensive crowd funding campaign, the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (SJO) recorded George Duke’s “Dark Wood: Bass Concerto for McBride” featuring international renowned jazz bassist Christian McBride, as well as legendary jazz guitarist and composer Lee Ritenour’s “Symphonic Captain’s Journey”. Prior to the recording the SJO presented a free community concert on Sunday, Jan. 18 as part of the Carpenter Performing Arts Center’s “Arts for Life” series.

The recording, conducted by SJO music director Mitch Glickman featured works commissioned by the 67-member ensemble, along with the work that started the sym-phonic jazz genre 90 years ago, Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” The project is slated for release in late summer.

“In its thirteen-year history, the SJO has commissioned and premiered many great works – but has never recorded,” Mitch Glickman stated. “With George’s passing last year, the importance of recording his work took on greater meaning. George’s legacy to Chris-tian and the SJO is this powerful work that deserves an audience that only a recording can provide.”

Currently the SJO is in more than 100 classrooms, including many inside Culver City schools, teaching more than 2,800 stu-dents each and every week. The non-profit Symphonic Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to perpetuating the uniquely American genre of symphonic jazz; music that blends the worlds of jazz and classical music. The orchestra has featured such soloists as Christian McBride, Dave Grusin, Bill Cun-liffe, Lee Ritenour, The Yellowjackets, Raul Midon, Luciana Souza, Phil Perry, and co- music director George Duke. In addition to its concert and commissioning activities, the SJO also maintains a very active “Music in the School’s” artist residency program in elementary schools throughout Los Angeles County.

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SJO teaches local kids music, records George Duke’s “Bass Concerto”