Symphonic Jazz Concerts

We are torchbearers for symphonic jazz, an innovative hybrid form of music blending the worlds of jazz and classical music.

The 68-piece Symphonic Jazz Orchestra is the only orchestra in the country solely dedicated to the blend of jazz and classical. Every year, this orchestra performs a free symphonic jazz concert for the community at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal State Long Beach.

Since its debut in 2002, the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra has commissioned thirteen new works, and performed seven world premieres along with three U.S. premieres.

Soloists who have joined the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra include George Duke, Christian McBride, Dave Grusin, Raul Midon, Lee Ritenour, Justo Almario, John Clayton, Carlos Cuevas, Bill Cunliffe, Peter Erskine, Robert Hurst, Phil Perry, Lesa Terry, Ernie Watts and The Yellowjackets.

Recent Concerts


Family Jazz Hour
A free public concert presented by members of Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (SJO)

Tuesday May 7th

5:30 pm – Food (proceeds to PTA)

6:30 pm – Concert

Where: Farragut Elementary, 10820 Farragut Drive, Culver City, CA 90230

It was a super fun evening of music, food and prizes! Featuring a professional jazz band as well as performances from Culver City Elementary students. All students that attended received a prize and adults were entered to win an Amazon gift card!

Students heard musicians play in an intimate setting, as well as shared with their parents and siblings the music education and inspiration they experience in their classrooms.

Who is SJO?:  A non-profit that teaches music to students in Culver City elementary schools each and every week! They also bring together a 68-member orchestra to play free concerts. This is all part of their mission to transform communities, schools and lives through music.

This performance was made possible in part by the City of Culver City, in celebration of the 25thanniversary of the Performing Arts Grant Program, with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment.


Looking Forward, Looking Back

In 2015, the 67-piece Symphonic Jazz Orchestra produced its first recording, entitled “Looking Forward, Looking Back.” This album features George Duke’s “Bass Concerto” for Christian McBride, Lee Ritenour’s commission “Symphonic Captain’s Journey” and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” featuring Bill Cunliffe.

CLICK HERE to purchase.


“Beyond Symphonic Jazz” on KJazz 88.1 FM
Monday Nights at 9pm (PST)

Hosted by SJO Music Director Mitch Glickman, “Beyond Symphonic Jazz” radio show explores where the worlds of jazz and classical music meet with interviews with some very special composers and performers. The show also features rare recordings along with new works that continue the great American tradition of symphonic jazz. Where the musical lines start to blur, is where things get Interesting.

The 2-hour show on KJazz 88.1 FM airs every Monday evening from 9 – 11 pm (PST) and can be heard online at The broadcasts are also archived and can be listened to anytime you’d like just by clicking here. Please note, the archives are only available for two weeks following the broadcast.