This is my first year as director of the group, and I’m thrilled to carry on the legacy that longtime-director Doug Snapp established 20 years ago. I’ve loved big band jazz since I was a kid when my dad used to play the records of bands like Buddy Rich and Duke Ellington for me. And I imagine while many of you who visit this page are longtime JazzMN fans, some of you may be stopping by for the first time. You may love big band jazz but haven’t had a chance to get acquainted with JazzMN before now. Or maybe this whole jazz thing is a relatively new experience for you. Well, in any case, we’re glad you’re here. And we truly believe that if you stay tuned in, you’ll be exposed to some impressive and engaging music.
We’ve got an exciting season ahead. Once again, our main concerts will all occur at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, always with a 7:30 pm start time.
Our first concert on Oct. 7 is titled “Basie, Gershwin, and More,” so we’ll have a lot of great swinging music along with a few other interesting things mixed in there. And we’ll be joined by the always-swinging Debbie Duncan on voice.
This year’s holiday concert entitled “Let It Swing” will be on December 16, and on that show, we’ll feature Yolande Bruce on voice. Lots of holiday classics and some very hip arrangements will hopefully help to keep you toasty at that time of year.
Then for our spring concert, I’m super excited for our featured guest artist, vocalist, and composer Luciana Souza. Luciana has performed and recorded with so many greats of modern jazz and popular music, including Herbie Hancock (with whom she won a Grammy award), Paul Simon, James Taylor, Danilo Pérez, and Minnesota’s own Maria Schneider. She also recently made an appearance with the MN Orchestra! We are going to be performing several of her compositions arranged by many of the great arrangers in the field today including Jim McNeely, Vince Mendoza, Mike Holober, and also yours truly. It’s going to be a spectacular night of Brazilian-inspired music along with many other modern but accessible flavors.
We hope you’ll join us for all of our wide-ranging concerts this season. Having a large and enthusiastic audience is vital to our creation of music, and there’s nothing like experiencing a big band concert in person, especially one that comprises the serious talent like that of the JazzMN Orchestra. And as always, donations are important to our continued functioning as an organization. We are a 501C3 non-profit organization, so remember, your donations are always tax-deductible.
Thanks for tuning in, and let’s have a blast together this season!
– JC Sanford