CJO Selected as Kennedy Center Honors House Orchestra for 25th Year; Gala Set for Tonight



The Chicago Jazz Orchestra (CJO) under the direction of Jeff Lindberg is excited and honored to have been chosen to perform at the 36th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala tonight, December 8, 2013 in Washington, D.C. This performance marks the 25th consecutive year that the CJO has been chosen for this singular honor.



This year's five honorees include:



- Martina Arroyo - As a Metropolitan Opera soprano she broke racial barriers and today shares her artistry with a new generation of opera singers,

- Herbie Hancock - An innovative jazz pianist who broke musical barriers and still continues to redefine the art of jazz,

- Billy Joel - One of popular music's most prolific singer/songwriters whose music has defined several generations,

- Shirley MacLaine - An actress whose versatile career encompasses stage and screen,

- Carlos Santana - A musician remembered for his electrifying Woodstock performance, his high energy performances have thrilled millions.



The President and Mrs. Obama will receive the honorees and members of the Artists Committee who nominate them, along with the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the Gala performance. The medallions will be presented to the honorees on Saturday, December 7th at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry. The ceremony concludes with the Gala dinner/dance in the Grand Foyer on December 8th.



The CJO was founded in 1978 (Jazz Members Big Band) by Jeff Lindberg and the late Steve Jensen. Composed of Chicago's top musicians, the CJO is Chicago's oldest professional jazz orchestra in continuous operation and one of the oldest jazz repertory orchestras in the country. Conductor and Artistic Director Jeff Lindberg is one of the foremost transcribers in jazz. As a result, the Orchestra's repertoire draws upon his vast library, which includes the works of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Benny Carter, Oliver Nelson, Ray Charles and many others.



The CJO became the first professional jazz orchestra in Chicago to present a yearly subscription series (1998-99). The CJO's 2005 compact disc Clark Terry and Jeff Lindberg's Chicago Jazz Orchestra: George Gershwin's Porgy & Bess (Americana Music) received widespread critical acclaim, including a rare "five star" rating in Downbeat Magazine. The CD has been voted among the top CD's of the decade by Downbeat Magazine.



The CJO's new CD "Burstin Out" features vocalist Cyrille Aimee along with the orchestra in beautifully orchestrated arrangements of some of the most beloved jazz classics.



The CJO receives support from The Stare Fund, The Illinois Arts Council, The Joseph B. Glossberg Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, and The Oppenheimer Family Foundation. The CJO's media sponsors are WDCB 90.9FM, Chicago Jazz Magazine, and Downbeat Magazine.




More On: Chicago, Kennedy, Martina Arroyo, Metropolitan Opera, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine, Santana, John Kerr.

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