It began in 1978 as a rehearsal band on Chicago's North Side. More than 25 years later, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra is an
ensemble of international stature.
Jeff Lindberg and his friend from University of Illinois, the late trumpet player Steve Jensen, just wanted to keep a good
thing going. After leaving Champaign, where they both played in the university jazz band, they gathered their college friends
living in Chicago and formed a group that performed several times a month in small clubs, often for no money. The band kept
getting better and better. When jazz singer Joe Williams heard them on the radio in 1981, a long collaboration began. Williams
helped the band get a coveted gig playing for the annual
Kennedy Center Honors, which continues to this day.
CJO has performed and recorded with many great jazz soloists – trumpeter
Clark Terry, singer
Kurt Elling and pianist
Herbie Hancock, among others. But artistic director and conductor Lindberg also is known for his historically accurate charts and transcriptions.
He listens to old recordings and writes down everything he hears -- the instrumentation, tempos and solos. Lindberg says
it's often the only way to get the music for original arrangements by the great jazz bandleaders of the past. By creating
the sheet music for these classic works, Lindberg makes an important contribution to American music history.
review of the CJO's recent recording with trumpet legend Clark Terry.
Read more about
Jeff Lindberg at Ohio's
College of Wooster.