The Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra (KJRO) – a Tribute to the Great Big Bands of the Swing-Era!
The Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra (KJRO), co-directed by University of Kentucky School of Music professors Miles Osland and Dick Domek, consists of the finest and most talented faculty, alumni and musicians from Kentucky area colleges and universities. KJRO is a 17 piece big band that is especially suited for and highly skilled at recreating authentic swing-era arrangements.
They are one of the few bands in this region (and one of the few in the entire U.S.) that can capture the energy, excitement and rhythmic feeling of the timeless and spirited music of the great big bands of the swing-era. KJRO not only re-creates the music of the great big bands with technical virtuosity, but also captures the energy and excitement of the big band music of the swing-era.
All of the KJRO band members are accomplished musicians, and many of them hold advanced academic degrees in music performance, jazz studies and jazz music theory and composition. Each band member steps into their ensemble or individual solo role with a true feeling and desire for authenticity, clarity and a spirit for the unique music of the swing-era.
KJRO’s CD Recordings
In 1999, KJRO released their first CD “Ellington Celebration”, a retrospective of Ellington’s music from the 1920’s to the 1970’s (1999 was also the centennial year of Ellington’s birth). With the release of “Ellington Celebration”, KJRO established itself as one of the best jazz repertory orchestras currently performing.
In 2009, partly as a result of their experiences playing at Hepcats/KJRO big band swing dance collaborations, KJRO released their second CD, “Flying Home”. The CD contains 24 tracks, many of them favorites for swing dancers at these Hepcats/KJRO events.
A Tribute to the Great Big Bands of the Swing-Era
In either a concert venue or dance event, KJRO brings back to life the vibrant and energetic music of the great big bands of the swing-era. You’ll hear KJRO play authentic, classic swing-era arrangements by big bands many people are probably familiar with – bands led by Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington; and some big bands not as well known today but that were considered top notch bands in the swing-era, such as those led by Jimmie Lunceford, Fletcher Henderson and Harland Leonard.
For this “Tribute to the Great Big Bands of the Swing-era” KJRO performs swing-era classics such as:
Duke Ellington: Rockin’ in Rhythm; Drop Me Off in Harlem; In a Mellotone; Stevedore Stomp; Take the A Train; Tiger Rag; Jive Stomp; Ring Dem Bells; Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.
Benny Goodman: Sing, Sing, Sing; Bugle Call Rag; Swingtime in the Rockies; Don’t Be That Way; King Porter Stomp; Stompin’ at the Savoy.
Jimmie Lunceford: For Dancers Only; Four or Five Times; Baby Won’t You Please Come Home; Lunceford Special; My Blue Heaven.
Glenn Miller: In the Mood; Pennsylvania 6-5000; String of Pearls; Moonlight Serenade; Tuxedo Junction; Little Brown Jug.
Count Basie: Jumpin’ at the Woodside; Splanky; Doggin’ Around; Yeah Man; Shiny Stockings; Sent For You Yesterday.
Artie Shaw: Begin Beguine; Back Bay Shuffle.
Fletcher Henderson: Wrappin’ It Up; Christopher Columbus.
Lionel Hampton: Flying Home.
Harlan Leonard: Skee; Hairy Joe Jump; Too Much.
At these performances, close your eyes and you may think you’re back in the 1930’s or 40’s, dancing and listening to the music of Duke Ellington in the Cotton Club, Jimmie Lunceford in the Savoy Ballroom, Benny Goodman in the Roseland Club, Count Basie in the Woodside Ballroom, Artie Shaw in the Pennsylvania Hotel, or Glenn Miller in the Glen Island Casino.
How to book the band / inquires for KJRO’s “Tribute to the Great Big Bands of the Swing-Era”
Contact one of the following:
o Mike Richardson: info@Luv2SwingDance.com; 859-420-2426.
o Dick Domek: firstname.lastname@example.org; 859-559-6341.
Audio Clips / KJRO Arrangements and Charts
Here are some audio clips of some of the songs in the KJRO playbook you could hear at a “Tribute to the Great Big Bands of the Swing-Era” program: (*=on the Ellington Celebration CD; **=on the Flying Home CD):
o The Benny Goodman Orchestra.
**Sing, Sing, Sing.
**Swingtime in the Rockies (the 1938 Carnegie Hall version!).
**Don’t Be That Way.
Other charts that KJRO plays from the Benny Goodman Orchestra book: Bugle Call Rag; King Porter Stomp.
o The Lionel Hampton Orchestra.
o The Glenn Miller Orchestra.
**Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Other charts KJRO plays from the Glenn Miller Orchestra book: String of Pearls; Little Brown Jug; In the Mood; Moonlight Serenade; Pennslyvania 6-5000.
o The Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra.
**For Dancers Only.
Other charts KJRO plays from the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra book: Four or Five Times; My Blue Heaven; Baby Won’t You Please Come Home.
o The Harry James Orchestra.
**On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.
o The Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Rockin’ in Rhythm (*1930 and **1963 versions);
**In a Mellotone.
*Ring Dem Bells.
*Drop Me Off in Harlem.
Other charts KJRO plays from the Duke Ellington book: Take the A Train; Cottontail; Jack the Bear; Perdido; Diga Diga Doo; Tiger Rag.
o The Count Basie Orchestra.
**Jumpin’ at the Woodside.
Other charts KJRO plays from the Count Basie book: It’s Sand, Man; Yeah Man; Splanky.
o The Artie Shaw Orchestra.
**Back Bay Shuffle.
Other charts KJRO plays from the Artie Shaw book: Begin the Beguine.
o The Harlan Leonard Orchestra.
**Hairy Joe Jump.
KJRO also plays charts by several other big bands, to include Fletcher Henderson (Wrappin’ It Up; Christopher Columbus), Benny Carter and Jack Hylton.