The Chicago Jazz Orchestra (CJO) has been chosen to perform at the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala this Sun., December 2, in Washington, D.C. This performance marks the 24th straight year that the CJO has been awarded this singular performance honor.
This year’s honorees include:
· Buddy Guy – Chicago Blues guitarist and singer; six-time Grammy winner
· Dustin Hoffman – Actor; winner of two Grammys and five Golden Globes
· David Letterman – TV Host; longest late-night talk show career in U.S. history
· Natalia Makarova – Ballerina who defected from Russia in 1970 and joined the American
President and Mrs. Obama will receive the honorees and members of the Artists Committee who nominated them, along with the Kennedy Center Trustees, at the White House prior to the Gala performance. The medallions will be presented to the honorees at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on December 1st.
The ceremony concludes with a dinner dance at which the CJO is the featured entertainment. In past years, one of the highlights of the evening has been the unexpected performance of some of the world’s biggest stars who “sit in” with the CJO, conducted by artistic director Jeff Lindberg.
At the 2010 Gala, Matthew Morrison, star of the popular television show Glee, gave an impromptu performance with the CJO that had everyone swaying to the music well into the “wee hours of the morning.”
The Chicago Jazz Orchestra 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 Chicago Jazz Orchestra became the first professional jazz orchestra in Chicago to present a yearly concert 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 Down Beat magazine. The CJO recently announced its upcoming 2012-2013 Concert Season, including performances with such solo artists as Michael Feinstein, Ernie Watts, Mark Wood, Randy Brecker and Kurt Elling. For more information about the CJO’s season, please visit the website: www.chicagojazzorchestra.com.