In striving to provide opportunities for Edmonton-based musicians to showcase their talent and further their growth as a musician through professional development, the Edmonton Jazz Festival Society created the Edmonton Jazz Orchestra (EJO).
The EJO is a 17-piece, large jazz ensemble, consisting of a rotating roaster of musicians selected by the EJFS Artistic Director, Kent Sangster. The group performs throughout the year as a stand-alone band as well as in presentations featuring guest musicians, composers, and/or conductors.
EJO musicians are active musicians in the city’s music community and can be found performing regularly around the city and/or are music educators at a variety of local schools and institutions. Members of this group also give back to the community by leading workshops presented by the EJFS and participating in initiatives like reading sessions for the MacEwan University Music Program’s composition department that allow young, developing composers a chance to hear their pieces performed live by a big band.
The EJO made its debut at the 2006 Yardbird Jazz Festival and has continued to engage and delight audiences to this day, including performances with featured artists from home-town honourees to Canadian and international veterans like Maria Schneider, Mike Rud, Emilie Claire-Barlow, Hilario Duran, Carol Welsman, Bob Tidesley, and ProCoro to name a few. The group is delighted to have the opportunity to perform with Hilario Duran this summer on the Winspear stage.