The Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO) was formed as a vehicle to create performance opportunities for jazz musicians in a big band setting. Over thirty years later, the CJO is considered one of the world's finest jazz orchestras and a model for success, presenting big band jazz and world-renowned guest artists to thousands each year.
The flagship performing ensemble of the Jazz Arts Group, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra consists of musicians who are highly regarded as performers and educators across the country and around the globe. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Byron Stripling, the CJO presents nearly 50 subscription concerts each season in Columbus, Ohio.
By incorporating contemporary arrangements into its repertoire and commissioning new arrangements and masterworks for jazz orchestra, the CJO promotes the future of big band jazz and cultivates the dynamic, adventurous spirit that has kept audiences coming back again and again.
The CJO is led by world-renowned trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling, former lead trumpet for the Count Basie Orchestra. Stripling has been a featured soloist with the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, the National Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony and at the Hollywood Bowl, and he performs at jazz festivals throughout the world. He has performed and recorded extensively with the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman and Lionel Hampton, among others, as well as the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the GRP All-Star Big Band.
Their latest release, The Colors of Jazz, was produced by GRAMMY-winning producer Joel Moss and recorded in the exquisite Southern Theatre in Columbus. Featuring timeless jazz standards, dynamic arrangements, and even a tinge of gospel, the orchestra demonstrates with every track the art of the big band, powered by tight ensemble playing, a driving rhythm section, and inspired solos. The album draws its name from an original piece – a suite in three movements written for the CJO by John Clayton, the one of the leading composers and arrangers in jazz.