December 18, 2016
Peter & The Wolf ala Swing
with narrator Dr. Peter Stoicheff
& featured vocalist Jessica Robinson
The Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra puts a swing in Peter’s timeless encounter with the Wolf with their take on Sergei Prokofiev’s classic as arranged for the SJO by Winnpeg-based composer Jeff Presslaff and narrated by University of Saskatchewan president Peter Stoicheff. This December performance is rounded out with a selection of holiday big band classics. A special winter pudding ale will also be premiered by 9 Mile Brewery!
April 30, 2017
The Way The West Was Swung
ft. Saskatoon’s own vocalist BJ Harris
& special guest author Dr. Bill Waiser
Saskatoon’s own vocalist BJ Harris joins the SJO for an incredible evening of hard driving swing performing repertoire arranged for the magnificent Steve Lawrence by one of the most respected writers of this generation, Marion Evans. For the past twelve years, BJ Harris has showcased his vocal prowess, range, and versatility by offering audiences a unique smorgasbord of musical flavours, and the SJO is thrilled to feature him in their third concert of the season.
May 27, 2017
Changing Seasons 2017
ft. Mark Fewer
The SJO is once again thrilled to invite back to the concert stage Canadian solo violin virtuoso Mark Fewer performing Changing Seasons which is a Juno Award-winning concerto for solo violin, jazz orchestra and string orchestra composed by Canadian musical icon Phil Dwyer. One of the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra’s biggest hits in past seasons, pieces like Changing Seasons blur and redefine musical boundaries between traditional genres in exciting and collaborative ways. This concert will not only include the SJO and members of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra’s string section (performing Changing Seasons) it will also feature the Saskatoon Brass Band perform a new composition written specifically for Mark Fewer (as solos), composed by Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Conductor Bramwell Tovey!
About the SJO
The Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra (SJO) is committed to presenting the highest caliber professional large jazz ensemble music through its programming and through the featuring of local and nationally/internationally celebrated jazz talent. Through these concert activities the SJO delivers top-quality art music to the city of Saskatoon and beyond while professionally developing many of our own established and emerging jazz musicians.
While some SJO concerts are retrospective in nature (e.g. Friends Remembered 2015 SK. tour, Tribute to Duke Ellington, Tribute to Frank Sinatra), others are visionary (e.g. 2014 jazz festival performance of Phil Dwyer’s Changing Seasons (for large jazz orchestra, string orchestra and classical solo violinist Mark Fewer), large ensemble orchestrations of Mike Rud’s Juno award winning CD Notes on Montreal). All concerts feature important current and emerging musicians whose work intersects with the large jazz ensemble idiom specifically.
For many years SJO Artistic Director Dean McNeill directed the Metro Jazz Ensemble of Saskatoon (MJE), which was the precursor and indeed the inspiration for the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra.