The Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra is celebrating 10 years of making music and supporting some of the city’s preeminent jazz artists and educators with a concert and the release of their first CD.
The concert is Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at The Redmoor in Mt. Lookout. Artistic Director Eric Lechliter will be joined by vocalist Mandy Gaines, as well as past CCJO artistic directors, Scott Belck and Rob Parton. They will also be selling physical copies of their debut album, “We Are the CCJO.”
"The debut album of the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, "We Are The CCJO," features adventurous original jazz compositions, brand new treatments of classic vocal standards and fresh re-imaginings of 20th Century popular music. The orchestra features many of the Queen City's finest jazz musicians, including internationally renowned vocalist Mandy Gaines," Lechliter told CityBeat.
Tracks on the CD include “This is Not America” (Lyle Mays, David Bowie and Pat Metheny), “Sun Goddess” (Jon Lind and Maurice White), “Save Your Love for Me” (Buddy Johnson) and “Suite for the New Year,” a series of five movements dedicated to CCJO President Doug Lillibridge’s parents, Duane and Betty Lillibridge, who both passed in late 2020. All arrangements are by Lechliter.
The CCJO got its start when founder and secretary LeAnne Anklan had an idea to have a more modern jazz big band and feature arrangements from young talent in Cincinnati. She also wanted to bring these musicians into schools so children could learn more about jazz. Shortly after the band’s founding, local jazz pianist and CCM professor emeritus Phil DeGreg joined and started Jazz@First, small group concerts on Sunday afternoons at the First Unitarian Church in Avondale, with the goal of bringing more music to more people and presenting artists in a different way.
“The CCJO strives to be the region's jazz ambassador and, judging by its growth and success, it's doing that,” Lillibridge told CityBeat.
You can see the CCJO’s concert schedule and learn more about the band here. They will be selling physical copies of their new CD at all their performances beginning Thursday, or you can buy a digital copy here.
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