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.
For more information about the SJO persons interested can visit www.SJOmusic.org.