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Chicago Jazz Orchestra

Founded in 1978 by Jeff Lindberg and the late Steve Jensen, the Jazz Members Big Band (now the Chicago Jazz Orchestra) was selected to be the opening band for the First Annual Chicago Jazz Festival in 1979.

After hearing the Orchestra on NPR broadcast of the 1981 Chicago Jazz Festival, Joe Williams began a performance collaboration with the ensemble that flourished, in-cluding ten straight appearances at The Kennedy Center Honors festivities The Chicago Jazz Orchestra performed at The Kennedy Center Honors for the 21 straight year on December 2009.

The group has toured Europe twice, including performances in Italy, Spain, Denmark, and Sweden in Washington, DC.

The Chicago Jazz Orchestra is the Chicago band of choice for the greatest jazz musicians, and thus the ensemble has performed with such artists as Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, Louie Bellson, Herbie Hancock, Jon Faddis, Kurt Elling, Jack McDuff, Kenny Burrell, and many more.

Jeff Lindberg, Artistic Director and Conductor, represents a new breed of American conductors who are equally adept with

the literatures of the American jazz orchestra and the European symphony orchestra. As well as holding the position of Artistic Director of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Lindberg is Music Director of the Wooster Symphony Orchestra in Ohio, now in its 88th season.

Co-founder of the Jazz Members Big Band in 1978, Lindberg is an active transcriber of original jazz recordings and has received numerous commissions from the Smithhsonian Institution for such work. His transcriptions have been performed by such artists as Joe Williams, Clark Terry, Gunther Schuller, and David Baker, and by such orchestras as the Count Basie Orchestra, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.

In 1993, two of Lindberg’s transcriptions were performed at The White House by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Lindberg recently was commissioned by the Billy Strayhorn estate to transcribe recordings of the composer’s works that are presently unpublished. As a symphonic and jazz conductor Lindberg has performed with such artists as Misha Dichter, William Warfield, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Milton Hinton, Clark Terry, and Joe Williams.

A Professor of Music at The College of Wooster in Ohio, Lindberg is a graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School and holds Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received a Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International for post-graduate study at the Academy of Music in Vienna and a Conducting Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival.

Lindberg has conducted and produced three albums on the Sea Breeze Jazz label, including the CD, The Jazz Members Big Band of Chicago: diggin’in.

Composed of Chicago’s top musicians, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra is Chicago’s oldest professional jazz orchestra in continuous operation and one of the oldest jazz repertory orchestras in the country.