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Stardust Melodies

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.

The 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.

Related Links

Read a review of the CJO's recent recording with trumpet legend Clark Terry.

Read more about Jeff Lindberg at Ohio's College of Wooster.

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Find out how what was once "just a rehearsal band" became known as one of the finest Jazz Orchestras in the nation.

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Vocalist Frieda Lee performs Billy Strayhorn's "Something to Live For" in concert with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra.

 

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Vocalist Frieda Lee performs with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra.

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Chicago Jazz Orchestra Artistic Director and Conductor, Jeff Lindberg.

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The Chicago Jazz Orchestra plays at the legendary Green Mill in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood.

 

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