SJO Happenings...


Chris Coleman, Christian McBride, Dave Grusin, and Lee Ritenour 

Recording Session January 19, 2015


SJO Concert & Recording of

George Duke's

"Dark Wood: Concerto for McBride"


Lee Ritenour's

"Symphonic Captain's Journey"

The 67- member Symphonic Jazz Orchestra with special guests Christian McBride, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, John Beasley, Chris Coleman, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith played to a full house on Sunday January 18th at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal. State Long Beach as part of it's "Arts for Life" series. This free community concert was conducted by SJO's Music Director Mitch Glickman, and featured George Duke's "Dark Wood: Concerto for McBride" and Lee Ritenour's "Symphonic Captain's Journey". 

On January 19th the SJO and it's special guests recorded the same music pieces. In addition to recording "Dark Wood" and "Symphonic Captain's Journey", pianist Bill Cunliffe joined the ensemble for the recording of "Rhapsody in Blue", the work that started the symphonic jazz genre 90 years ago.

The recording project is slated for release in late summer. If you would like to pre-order a CD for $25 please click here.

SJO would like to again thank all of our supporters for your generous contributions. With your assistance, this recording became a reality!



SJO’s Feature School for the Month of January

El Marino Language School

Culver City, CA

1st– 3rd Grade "Intro to Music/Playing the Bells" Residency Program

     At El Marino Language School SJO teaches it’s “Music in the Schools” artist residency programming from Kindergarten through 3rd grades. The Kindergarten program lasts 14 weeks, and 1st and 2nd grade students receive 28 weeks of programming.  Students are instructed once weekly. Third grade students participate in workshops once a month beginning in February. Woodwind, string, brass, or percussion instruments are demonstrated by musicians and the students get a chance to play them.

     For January’s School of the Month” theme, we have chosen to highlight our 1st- 3rd grade “Intro to Music/Playing the Bells” program. Currently SJO has three very talented teaching artists instructing these classes at six schools in Culver City and Los Angeles. Laura (Lolly) Allen, Jason Foltz, and Danielle Ondarza bring their musical talents and appreciation of music into the classroom each week.

     After learning rhythm and notation in the beginning of the school year, students are now in the process of playing small bells (glockenspiel). Each school site is equipped with enough bell sets and song books for each student to utilize. This is an exciting time in the program, as students discover the benefits of learning to read the musical notations and are able to follow along on their bell sets!


     From learning to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to a portion of “Ode to Joy” students gain tremendous knowledge in understanding pattern, rhythm, repetition and develop their dexterity and coordination.

     At the end of the 28 week residency program, parents are invited to each classroom where the students demonstrate what they have learned!

About El Marino Language School

     El Marino Language School is part of the Culver City Unified School District, and offers a Dual Language Immersion Program.  “Children have an opportunity to participate in this meaningful experience, which serves English-speaking students of various backgrounds and students who speak the target language, either Japanese or Spanish.  The program is designed to place English-speaking and Spanish-speaking or Japanese-speaking students together in a classroom where both languages are valued and used for instruction. The Immersion Program begins in Kindergarten and expands one grade level per year through grade five.  In order to achieve the program goals, the program requires a long-term commitment of participation of six years. Program participants understand that this is an additive bilingual program, which requires that students master state standards in BOTH languages.”-

George Duke Legacy Project Supporters 

For information about the George Duke Legacy Project, please click here 

Many thanks to those listed below and to those who made anonymous contributions. 

Chester & Tee Wang . Darlene Chan . Jinko Gotoh . Steve & Cindy Ruth . Stephen Bland . Nigel Williams. The Knossos Foundation . Michael Grienauer. Anne Finestone . Simon Goodall . Suzan Glickman . John Harris . Marty Ashby . Kit Thomas . Jason Bland . Dena Dahilig. C. Brown. Kristy Morris . Leslie Adler . Patrick Collins . Trey Madhyastha . Bruce Lubliner. Robert Rick. Connie Eicher Bland . Esther Cervantes . Tim Newenham . Barbara Jansen . Lester Gibo . Michael Banks . Lisa K. Karpf . Ray Robinson . Alex Shapiro. Kerri Glickman . Edward Dumlao . William R. Weathers . Stephen Rowe . Madeleine Crouch . Jay Goetting . Buell Neidlinger . Leonard & Caia Sasso . Edythe L. Bronston . Timothy Leaks . Darrell Spree . Johnny Walker . Geoff Bland . Cicely C. Mitchell . Adam Overacker . John Newcott . Peter Pelican . Nancy Gilliam . Alex Wallace . Calvin Smith . Sibyll . Tin Hoang & Leia Nghiemphu . Raul Midon . Clint Rosemond . Evelyn Vannozzi . Angela Flavors . Jericca Cleland . Ellyn Kusmin . Jonathan Charles . Barbara Abell . Booker White . Carolina Shorter . Chris Tucker . Darlene Martin . Audun Dertz . Mark Berg . Terri Coffsky . Leslie Baker . David Worrell . Gary Fry . James Goldenberg . Barry Tate . Betty C. Tuggle . Ken . Christine Whitaker . Genevieve Conaty . Steve Rubin . Andrew Papastephanou . Will Haines . Becky Brown . Jeff Mallory . Sean Barrett . James W. Wilson . Ralph Grierson . Rondi Charleston . Miles Porter . Samantha Marrs . Gary Stager . Robert Cloud . Adrian Coulson . Melissa A. Weber . Merle Kreibich . Patrick Ludwig . Darryl Dogan . Bonnie Wacker . Mike Peak . Howard Banchik . Perry & Eileen Dworkin . Donna Chinn . Stephan Fredrich . Gina Kronstadt . Gou Noborio . Ron Anderson . Susan Gordon . Mary Hafeli . Ernest Dickerson & Rose Geddes . Debra Peterson . Stacy & Denton Fisch . Hidenori Ueki . Rika Davis . Rose Ellen & David Glickman . Misato Shinohara . Peter Gontha . Jon Charles . Georgina . Sheree Johnson . Mark Olsen . Sharon Lapid . Dr. Stephan Dumas . USA for Africa . Tootie Heath . Pearl & Howard Davis . Barbara Glickman . Barbara Jansen . Chini Taylor-Johnson . Victoria Hornstein . Melissa Hager . Joe Soldo . Michael Flöer


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Founded in 2001, the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra is a non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating the uniquely American genre of symphonic jazz through its commissioning program, and inspiring the next generations of listeners through its “Music in the Schools” program, and Community Outreach Program.   Learn More