What kind of reunion is this anyway?
All members of the Reunion Jazz Orchestra (RJO) share a very unique background. Every member is a “son of Notre Dame” – either from Notre Dame High School in Niles, Illinois, or from Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. All share a connection to, and a special affection for, the founder of the school’s jazz program, Rev. George Wiskirchen, C.S.C., (“The Swinging Padre”).
Out of this creative environment have come many famous and award-winning musicians, such as, Jimmy Pankow (Chicago), Grammy nominee composer and pianist Jim McNeely (Vanguard Jazz Orchestra), Dick Sisto, and a long list of Chicago music scene stalwarts including Joe Sonnefeldt (Poi Dog Pondering), Larry Lecover (Rhythm City), Dan DeLorenzo, John Kornegay, Bob Sutter, Dave Creighton, and Mark Madsen.
The RJO has in its ranks doctors and architects, executives and entrepreneurs, and information technology professionals. The RJO has as authentic a swing sound as you'll find anywhere, but it also plays ballads, progressive, and latin. RJO performances also showcase the unique vocal stylings of Chicago favorite Jennifer R. Connelly.
The RJO has performed at Navy Pier, Oak Street Beach, at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, Cantigny Park, Veterans Memorial Band Shell, many Chicago metropolitan area neighborhood festivals, and numerous charitable events. The RJO has reigned as the "house band" at Papa's Pizza in Roselle, IL, and the Sphinx Cafe Restaurant in Niles, IL.
The Reunion Jazz Orchestra is an official alumni organization of Notre Dame High School. All the money raised from performances and the sale of CDs is donated to Notre Dame High School for the support and enhancement of the music program.