After big bands in casino showrooms in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area were replaced by recorded music or by small combos in the early 1990’s, musicians in those former house bands joined together in 1997 to keep northern Nevada’s big band sound alive. Reno Jazz Orchestra musicians are some of the best in the business and their individual performances have included backing Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis Presley, Natalie Cole, and Luciano Pavarotti! Members have traveled with the bands of Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Ray Charles, Buddy Rich, and Buddy Morrow. In recent years the RJO musicians have included gifted University of Nevada Reno jazz students, many transitioning successfully into professional musicians.
The Reno Jazz Orchestra is a registered Nevada nonprofit corporation under the provisions of Chapter 82 “Non-Profit Corporations for Public Benefit” and has IRS 501(c) 3 tax-exempt status. The orchestra is funded by membership donations, corporate sponsorship, fundraisers, ticket sales, merchandise sales and grants.
Our mission is to create a greater appreciation of jazz in northern Nevada by providing world class big band performances and by promoting jazz education in the middle schools, high schools, and colleges.