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 of the Month

El Rincon Elementary School

 Culver City, CA

Kindergarten Intro to Music Residency Program 

At El Rincon Elementary School, SJO teaches it's "Music in the School's" 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 monthly beginning this month. Woodwind, string, brass and percussion instruments are demonstrated by musicians and the students get a chance to play them.

Kindergarten "Intro to Music"

Next school year (2015-2016), SJO will offer an expanded kindergarten 28-week, weekly residency program. Building off the knowledge gained in the first 14 week program, students will learn rhythm, pattern, and sequencing through playing various percussion instruments. During the current 14 week program, students gain knowledge and understanding in key musical concepts. Areas of focus include solfege (singing using do, re, mi), rhythm (whole notes, half notes, quarter notes), musical pitches on the staff, along with songs and dances. All programming specifically is tied into the California Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) standards.


Kindergarten students during last year's 14 week session at El Rincon learning from SJO Teaching Artist Kerri Glickman, making an "L" with their left hand to remember what leg is left before they begin a dance.  The SJO kindergarten "Intro to Music" program was featured in a story by Mary Plummer of public radio station KPCC last year. To hear the story, click here.  Photographs by KPCC's Maya Sugarman.

About El Rincon Elementary School

             El Rincon Elementary School is part of the Culver City Unified School District.  Their mission is to provide an environment that prepares students to develop necessary skills to be successful in tomorrow’s global community. Their state-of-the-art science and computer labs support the goal of providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education. STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach where academic concepts are coupled with real world applications. El Rincon's continued emphasis on literacy includes extensive reading and both academic and creative writing across all content areas. -




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