Details of our next season coming soon!

Ottawa Jazz Orchestra

Canada's symphonic jazz orchestra presents its eleventh 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.

2015 – 2016 Season

This season the OJO presents five extraordinary concerts at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa featuring both small and large ensembles. Read about each concert below. For this season we are offering special packages with all five concerts for $130 (save $20) or any three concerts for $80 (save $10). These packages are only available in person at the NAC Box Office or by calling 613-947-7000 x620.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


The Ottawa Jazz Orchestra wraps up its season with an evening of introspective jazz inspired by Canadian jazz great Kenny Wheeler and the many musical friends he worked with over the years. Expect haunting melodies, undeniable grooves, and surprising rhythms with dialogues of playful and pensive interchange. Featuring members of the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra including resident vocalist Diane Nalini and special guests Petr Cancura (saxophones) and Peter Hum (piano).

Friday, February 26, 2016

Bird and Oliver

Ask yourself if it gets any better than this: The Ottawa Jazz Orchestra will begin this concert with a performance of the entire 1961 album The Blues and the Abstract Truth featuring music composed and performed by saxophonist Oliver Nelson. This is a suite for small group featuring four horns and rhythm section. The main event will feature alto saxophonist Sandy Gordon performing selections from the seminal Charlie Parker with Strings albums which were recorded in 1949 and 1950. You’ll hear the original beautiful arrangements and the soaring saxophone parts originally played by Bird backed by a small orchestra of strings, woodwinds, and a jazz rhythm section. The programme will even include a number of charts that were written for the original recording sessions but were never actually recorded!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Killin’ the Classics

It’s a classical music concert, a jazz concert, and a Christmas concert all in one! The Ottawa Jazz Orchestra celebrates the art of jazzing up the classics with music by Bach, Grieg, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Verdi and other composers as it was reimagined by jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Glenn Miller, and Gil Evans. This programme will feature performances of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s fabulous Peer Gynt and Nutcracker suites plus a lot more all performed by a big band in all its sonic glory. Join us for what’s sure to be an entertaining and educational evening of fun and fabulous music.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Daydreams Under the Blossoms

Jazz singer/songwriter Diane Nalini returns to the National Arts Centre with some of Ottawa’s finest musicians for a program that weaves together new original songs and evocative jazz standards that take us on a journey of the mind. Join us for an evening of songs that paint landscapes of daydreams, myths, legends, poetry, heartache and new love. 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.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Works of Art

The Ottawa Jazz Orchestra begins its 2015-2016 season by celebrating the genius of Art Pepper and Art Blakey.

This exciting evening will begin with a seven-piece group playing the fiery civil rights-infused music of Art Blakey including music by Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, and more. The main event will showcase selections from the landmark Art Pepper + Eleven album, recorded in 1959, featuring sublimely swinging arrangements by Marty Paich. This great music features solo alto saxophone backed by a unique eleven-piece “little big band” with three saxophones, two trumpets, French horn, two trombones, and rhythm section.

Don’t miss this great season opener!



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.


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