Classic Jazz Orchestra
Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra
Jim Galloway: A Journey Into Jazz at Glasgow Film Festival
Classic Jazz Orchestra
The Blue Arrow

Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra

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Thu 21st February at 7:00pm

Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra

We’ve teamed up with Glasgow Film Festival to bring you ‘Jim Galloway: A Journey Into Jazz’ on Thu 21 Feb at CCA. Director James Cullingham chronicles the life of the amazing Scotsman who emigrated to Canada as a young man and went on to carve out an international career as a saxophonist and impresario.

Followed by an exclusive gig from Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra at The Blue Arrow.

Combined Film & Gig tickets:

Formed in 2004, the Classic Jazz Orchestra is an 8-piece professional band based in Edinburgh whose mission is to explore the fabulously varied back-catalogue of jazz in an informative and entertaining way. Its remit, however, is to re-interpret, not simply replicate, jazz styles covering the period from the early 1900s to 1980 and beyond, while still paying respect to the original source material. In short, everything from Jelly Roll Morton to Charles Mingus, a stylistic spread that would be unimaginable but for the versatility and professionalism of CJO’s members, who are among the finest soloists and section players in Europe today: Billy Hunter (tpt), Chris Greive (tbn), Dick Lee, Konrad Wiszniewski, Martin Foster (reeds), Paul Harrison (pno), Roy Percy (bs) and Ken Mathieson (dms/arr). Their versatility was recognised in the 2009 Scottish Jazz Awards, in which CJO won the Best Band Category, and in Jazz Journal International Magazine’s 2011 Critics Poll in which the band’s CD with Alan Barnes of the music of Benny Carter was nominated for New CD of the Year.

CJO has appeared at major festivals and clubs all over UK presenting programmes dedicated to the music of a single musician (Morton, Beiderbecke, Bechet, Ellington, Armstrong etc), or a brief history of jazz, or simply a pot-pourri drawn from the full width of the band’s repertoire. We also perform the Paisley Thread Suite, which celebrates the town’s long history of threadmaking and was commissioned by Renfrewshire Council in 2018. For 2019 a special programme of jazz performances of Brazilian music is in preparation. The band also works frequently with guest soloists on joint venture projects such as The Music of Benny Carter and/or Gerry Mulligan (with saxophonist Alan Barnes), The Music of Louis Armstrong (with, depending on availability, US trumpeter Duke Heitger or London-based Enrico Tomasso), the New Orleans Clarinet Tradition (with top US clarinet star Evan Christopher), the Music of Duke Ellington and/or The Great American Songbook (with outstanding singer Angie King) and an eclectic mix of material with the hugely talented young American singer Cecile McLorin Salvant.

CJO has established a reputation as one of the World’s leading interpreters of Jelly Roll Morton’s music, and while that remains the cornerstone of its repertoire, there is also a wealth of material in its library covering such diverse talents as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Carter, Benny Goodman, Gerry Mulligan, Jobim, Cannonball Adderley etc. This remarkable breadth of repertoire makes the band an ideal programming option for festivals and concerts.

The band’s high international reputation has been earned by the quality of its musicianship, both in solo and ensemble playing, its outstanding orchestrations, its entertaining presentation and the energy and sheer joy it radiates in performance. Whatever the stylistic considerations, the CJO’s mission remains the same: to present quality performances of rarely-performed pieces as well as well-known jazz masterpieces in an entertaining, innovative and informative way.


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