Ottawa Jazz Orchestra

Canada's symphonic jazz orchestra presents its twelfth season

About the Orchestra

The Ottawa Jazz Orchestra (OJO), based in Ottawa and founded in 2006, brings together many of Canada’s finest professional jazz and symphony orchestra musicians under the direction of bassist Adrian Cho. This unique ensemble has garnered kudos from both critics and audiences for its highly entertaining, innovative and educational presentations of seminal jazz-centric music performed by a wide range of ensembles including small chamber jazz groups, repertory orchestras, neophonic orchestras and a full symphonic jazz orchestra. The OJO’s broad repertoire of music includes original compositions; the gamut of jazz and pre-jazz repertory from as far back as 1850; and jazz-influenced neoclassical works. In addition to a full season of concerts at the National Arts Centre, the orchestra frequently performs at the invitation of event organisers including the National Capital Commission, the City of Ottawa and various festivals.

2017 – 2018 Season @ the National Arts Centre

The OJO is back in the newly renovated Fourth Stage at the National Arts Centre (NAC) with five fabulous concerts. See details about each event further below.

Tickets for all concerts are now on sale. Last season, every concert sold out well in advance of the performance.

For this season we are offering two special packages. Buy tickets for all five concerts for $140 (save $25) or for any three concerts for $89 (save $10). These packages are only available in person at the NAC Box Office or by calling 613-947-7000 x620.

One lucky audience member at each concert will win a dinner for two at Madisons New York Grill & Bar where a trio from the OJO performs each Saturday night. Details of the weekly lineup of musicians at Madisons can be found below.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Duke of Groove

The OJO presents a tribute to pianist Duke Pearson. One of the unsung heroes behind Blue Note’s hard bop and soul jazz albums in the 1960s, Pearson was a superb pianist and arranger who produced and wrote for many of the classic Blue Note albums recorded between 1963 and 1970. He also worked extensively as a leader and sideman including a stint with the Art Farmer and Benny Golson group, The Jazztet. This concert will feature an entire programme of Pearson’s unique, hard-driving, soulful, totally groovy music performed by a nonet and a number of smaller ensembles.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

La Chanson Française

The OJO presents an entire programme of French music! The first half of this concert will feature vocalist Diane Nalini performing some of her new original works in French as well as her arrangements of works by Quebecois writers and performers such as Diane Tell, Joe Bocan, and Stanley Péan. The second half of the show will feature an instrumental nonet performance of wonderful arrangements by Virginia-based composer, Terry Vosbein, from his 2016 album, La Chanson Française, inspired by his time living and working in Paris. The suite includes songs made famous by Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Charles Trenet, and Jacques Brel. Join us for an evening of charming, seductive, and swinging music.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lush Life

The OJO presents a tribute to the incredible talent of Billy Strayhorn. Strayhorn’s evocative and seriously swinging compositions and collaborations with Duke Ellington will be performed by a full Ellington-style big band and OJO resident vocalist, Diane Nalini. Featuring music from the tribute album, And His Mother Called Him Bill, excerpts from the fabulously exotic Far East Suite, a wonderful collection of Strayhorn tunes sung by Ella Fitzgerald with the Ellington orchestra, and more.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Wes’ Coast Vibes

The OJO presents an eclectic menu of musical feasts served up by a full big band. We’ll begin with an entrée of sublime selections from the Vibes on Velvet and More Vibes on Velvet albums that featured vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and the unique arranging style of Manny Albam. We’ll follow with a main course of hard-swinging, high-energy musical meat and potatoes inspired by Wes Montgomery’s outings with a big band on the albums Movin’ Wes and Goin’ Out of My Head. The evening will conclude with a selection of sweet musical treats.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Songs of Wonder

The OJO presents presents vocalist Diane Nalini, backed by a number of different small ensembles, exploring jazz reimaginings of pop songs from the 1960s and 1970s with unique covers of tunes by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Donovan, Kate Bush, and Rickie Lee Jones. This genre-crossing, boundary-blurring programme will challenge your ears and give you new appreciation for your favourite songs of yesteryear.

Celebrated vocalist Diane Nalini composes and sings in four languages. She has recorded four albums, sung at jazz festivals around the globe, and given gala performances for President Bill Clinton and Sir Paul McCartney. She was nominated for the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors at the 2002 Montreal International Jazz Festival, and was one of two finalists for the UK’s Young Jazz Vocalist of the Year awards for 2001. Diane’s original songs have also been featured in television, independent films, as well as the Hollywood movie “Charlotte Grey” starring Cate Blanchett, which featured her song “L’amour d’autrefois”, co-written with UK arranger/composer Dick Walter.

Jazz @ Madisons New York Grill & Bar

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Madisons New York Grill & Bar in downtown Ottawa.

The owners of Madisons want to make their restaurant THE place for live jazz in Ottawa and have partnered with the OJO to help make it happen.

Madisons’s classy and inviting ambience is a favoured destination for many patrons. Fuelled by a passion for food and detail to service, Madisons offers top quality Black Angus cut meats, baby back ribs, a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, and chicken dishes.

Join a trio of musicians from the OJO every Saturday night at Madisons, located at 189 Lyon Street North (corner of Laurier Avenue West). Indoor parking is only $4 after 4:30 PM at Minto Place (entrance near 407 Laurier Avenue West).

The restaurant fills up fast so bookings are recommended. Call (613) 695-6262 to make a reservation and let them know you’ll be there for the band to ensure you get prime seating. You can also book online at or OpenTable.

April 28, 2018
  • Jazz trio with musicians from the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra: Adrian Cho (double bass), Diane Nalini (voice), and Magnus Paulson (guitar)
    Saturday, April 28, 2018, 6:30 pm - 9:45 pm
    Madisons New York Grill & Bar, 189 Lyon St N, Ottawa, ON K1R 5C1, Canada



All of these live recordings from past concerts are archival quality and not intended for redistribution. We hope you enjoy listening!

  1. Portrait of Louis Armstrong (New Orleans Suite III) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Rick Rangno (trumpet) 2:59
  2. Fontainebleau Ottawa Jazz Chamber Orchestra 4:53
  3. Avalon Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring David Renaud (clarinet) 3:08
  4. Bluebird of Delhi (Mynah) (Far East Suite II) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring David Renaud (clarinet) 3:10
  5. Isfahan (Far East Suite III) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Sandy Gordon (alto saxophone) 3:52
  6. Amad (Far East Suite VIII) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Moe Wozniak (trombone) 4:22
  7. Springsville (Miles Ahead I) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Lina Allemano (trumpet) 3:21
  8. Blues for Pablo (Miles Ahead VI) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Lina Allemano (trumpet) 5:43
  9. New Rhumba (Miles Ahead VII) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Lina Allemano (trumpet) 4:34
  10. The Meaning of the Blues (Miles Ahead VIII) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Lina Allemano (trumpet) 2:41
  11. Lament (Miles Ahead IX) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Lina Allemano (trumpet) 2:12
  12. Arab Dance Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Sandy Gordon (alto saxophone) and Scott Poll (clarinet) 5:13
  13. Paganini Caprice XXIV Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Laura Nerenberg (violin) 3:26
  14. Tres Corazones (Cuban Fire VII) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra 3:21
  15. Chicago Concerto - Stomp (IV) Ottawa Jazz Orchestra featuring Mike Tremblay (baritone saxophone) 4:49
  16. Burrito Borracho Ottawa Jazz Orchestra 4:00


These clips are from a 2010 performance of selections from Duke Ellington‘s Sacred Concerts with special guests Capital Vox and featured soloists Doreen Taylor Claxton, soprano, Marcus Nance, bass-baritone and Melissa Roy, tap dancer.


Feel free to contact us for any information about season concerts and other performances. Musicians from the orchestra are available to play at private events so feel free to enquire if you’re looking for live jazz for your event.

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