Started in 2004, the Portland Jazz Orchestra is Maine’s premier concert jazz ensemble. Under the direction of Dr. Chris Oberholtzer, this 18-piece jazz ensemble performs a variety of traditional and contemporary big band literature. The PJO enjoys playing works written by members such as Craig Skeffington, Willie Johnson, Chris Humphrey and Terry White in addition to literature composed by a variety of jazz artists including Tom Kubis, Matt Harris, Bob Mintzer, Bill Holman and Maria Schneider. The PJO also enjoys playing classic works from the big band libraries of Count Basie, Woody Herman and Stan Kenton.
The PJO is made up of professional musicians, many of whom are both performers and educators in New England. Members of the PJO have performed, recorded and toured with numerous artists including: Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, Bob Mintzer, Marvin Stamm, Barry Manilow, Roberta Flack, the Temptations, the Artie Shaw Orchestra and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
In 2008 and 2009 the PJO was nominated for “Best Jazz Act” in the Portland Phoenix. In keeping with our educational background, the Portland Jazz Orchestra is available for clinics and performances throughout northern New England.
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