Ottawa Jazz Orchestra

Canada's symphonic jazz orchestra presents its thirteenth season

Bringing you highly entertaining

and educational performances

of seminal jazz music

2018-2019 SeasonBecome a Patron

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.

2018 – 2019 Season @ the National Arts Centre

The OJO’s thirteenth season will feature music by Bill Evans, Horace Silver, Charlie Parker, Eddie Sauter, Reed Kotler, Nat King Cole, Benny Carter, and more, performed by a diverse array of ensembles including quintets, octets, nonets, big bands, and string orchestras. Scroll down to read more about each concert.

Tickets for each concert are $37.50 with two ticket packages:

  • All six concerts $190 (save $35)
  • Any four concerts $135 (save $15)

Ticket packages are only available at the NAC Box Office in person or by calling 613 947-7000 x620.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Joyful Noise for Nine

Horace Silver and Bill Evans were not only two of the finest pianists in the history of jazz but also great leaders, sidemen, composers, and pioneers. Join a nonet from the OJO as we perform the sublime compositions of these two great pianists in intricate arrangements written for a nine-piece ensemble by the great jazz bassist Chuck Israels.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Bird in the Reeds

The music of Charlie Parker comes alive in this programme as five saxophones and a rhythm section from the OJO recall the virtuosity and intricacies of bebop. Join us as we navigate the thrilling and challenging arrangements of Bird’s music written by Med Flory for the Supersax group he founded in 1972, as well as other unique settings of Parker’s music. If you love saxophones or the music of Bird, or both, then you’ll love this show.

Buy tickets to "Bird in the Reeds" online or purchase ticket packages at the NAC Box Office in person or by calling (613) 947-7000 x620.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Strings in Focus

Combining a dynamic string orchestra with a swinging rhythm and two of Ottawa’s finest jazz soloists, the OJO puts strings in focus for an exciting and unforgettable programme.

In the first half of this programme, vocalist Diane Nalini will sing sumptuous arrangements of the Great American Songbook by such luminaries as Nelson Riddle, French and Brazilian songs made famous by Juliette Greco and Elizeth Cardoso, as well as a few of her own arrangements.

The second half of our show will feature Mike Tremblay on tenor saxophone performing Focus. This seminal suite, originally written by Eddie Sauter for Stan Getz and a string orchestra, was inspired by seven fairytales as if Hans Christian Andersen were a musician. This masterful composition blends jazz and classical sounds in a unique composition that is beyond category.

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.

A native of Ottawa, Mike Tremblay has more than 20 years experience in the music industry as a saxophonist and educator. Mike holds a BA MUS from Carleton University, where he now teaches saxophone. His teachers include Kirk MacDonald, Alex Dean, and George Garzone. Mike adjudicates for Musicfest Canada ( jazz ensembles), and the Kiwanis Music Festival (concert bands, jazz ensembles, and woodwinds). Some of his performance and recording credits include Natalie Cole, Josh Groban, Alanis Morissette,John Pizzarelli, Lou Rawls, Bob Newhart,and Bernadette Peters.  Mike frequently performs with the National Arts centre Orchestra as part of the CTV POPS series.

Buy tickets to "Strings in Focus" online or purchase ticket packages at the NAC Box Office in person or by calling (613) 947-7000 x620.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Hidden Gems

Join a quintet from the OJO on a journey of exploration and discover new tunes and a new name as they unearth the hidden gems in the music of San Francisco composer Reed Kotler through arrangements by trumpeter Bobby Shew. Kotler’s contemporary compositions are rooted firmly in the straight-ahead tradition and you’ll wonder why his swinging songs aren’t already standards in the jazz canon.

Buy tickets to "Hidden Gems" online or purchase ticket packages at the NAC Box Office in person or by calling (613) 947-7000 x620.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Straighten Up and Fly Right

Vocalist Diane Nalini and a quartet from the OJO celebrate the centenary of Nat King Cole, born in March 1919. Join us for an evening that blends some of Nat’s greatest hits with lesser performed gems, as this five-piece drummerless group pays tribute to one of the twentieth century’s greatest jazz singers and most swinging pianists.

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.

Buy tickets to "Straighten Up and Fly Right" online or purchase ticket packages at the NAC Box Office in person or by calling (613) 947-7000 x620.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Symphony in Riffs

Saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader Benny Carter was one of the greatest legends of jazz. In this programme the OJO celebrates Carter’s music with an 18-piece big band featuring an array of solo spots that pay homage to his sound on the alto saxophone. The jewel amongst myriad gems will be Carter’s Central City Sketches, a six-movement suite that recalls Kansas City and the swing era. Join us for this swinging and thrilling finale to our season with a sound that only a band of this size can deliver.

Buy tickets to "Symphony in Riffs" online or purchase ticket packages at the NAC Box Office in person or by calling (613) 947-7000 x620.

Become a Patron

Help us present our unique programming by becoming a patron of the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra for as little as $5 per month. In addition to helping to make our performances possible you’ll receive great benefits including exclusive access to our behind-the-scenes blog, attendance at an OJO rehearsal, preferential seating at concerts, free concert passes, and more. If you become one of our top patrons we’ll even have a trio perform at your private event!

Support the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra

Media

Video

The video clips below include performances from a 2018 tribute to Billy Strayhorn featuring vocalist Diane Nalini, and selections from a 2010 presentation of Duke Ellington‘s Sacred Concerts with special guests Capital Vox and soloists Doreen Taylor Claxton, soprano, Marcus Nance, bass-baritone and Melissa Roy, tap dancer.

Audio

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

Contact

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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