The Charleston Jazz Orchestra Announces Its Season 11 Lineup of Concerts

Featuring Diane Schuur, Delfeayo Marsalis, Manny Houston, Ernie Watts and popular tributes to Billie Holiday, Cole Porter, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck and more!

CHARLESTON, SC – SEPTEMBER 25, 2018 – The Charleston Jazz Orchestra (CJO) announces its SEASON 11 concerts beginning February 23, 2019. “Season 11 features a line-up of exciting guest artists along with tributes to the most talented jazz artists of our time,” said Mary Beth Natarajan, Executive Director at Charleston Jazz. Starting with the first concert of 2019, Robert Lewis, Director of Jazz Studies at the College of Charleston, will take the role of Music Director and Band Leader of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra.

The season begins February 23, 2019 with SONGS OF LOVE. The CJO welcomes back vocalist Diane Schuur to perform the music of Billie Holiday, Cole Porter and more. A two time Grammy Award winner, Diane’s expressive, romantic and mischievous voice radiates warmth and soulful passion. Early in her career, Frank Sinatra mentored Diane and invited her to sing with him and his band conducted by Quincy Jones. She also performed alongside Herbie Hancock on the classic ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’ for Stevie Wonder at The Kennedy Center Honors.

On March 30, 2019, Delfeayo Marsalis joins the CJO for NEW ORLEANS MEETS CHARLESTON bringing The Big Easy to the Holy City. Delfeayo and the CJO will play the music of the Bayou with an added dash of Lowcountry flavor. Born and raised in New Orleans, Delfeayo is one of today’s top trombonists, composers, and producers of jazz. A member of America’s ‘First Family of Jazz’, Delfeayo received the National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master Award in 2011.

The third concert on April 20, 2019 will highlight one of the most popular artists of all time in MESS AROUND: A TRIBUTE TO RAY CHARLES with featured guest artist Manny Houston. What’d I Say, Hit the Road Jack, Georgia on My Mind, and Mess Around were just a few treasures recorded and performed by Ray Charles. Known as the ‘Genius of Soul’ Ray pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s and ‘60s by combining blues, jazz and gospel styles. Manny Houston has starred in many stage and show productions, including his own highly acclaimed piano singer tribute at the Charleston Music Hall.

The Fall season will be launched on September 14, 2019 with TAKE 5: WEST COAST COOL JAZZ. Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker, Paul Desmond, and Gerry Mulligan helped create the popular ‘cool jazz’ style that hailed from the West Coast. Lyrical, mellow, and always swinging, it helped define the musical soundscape of the 1950’s. The CJO takes on some of the great songs and arrangements from that era, while exploring new versions of some of its classics.
On October 19, 2019, the CJO will celebrate the most celebrated saxophonists of our time in a concert entitled SAXOPHONE LEGENDS. Special guest artist and saxophonist Ernie Watts will join the CJO to play the music of such saxophone icons as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker and more. A two time Grammy Award winner and long time member of the Tonight Show Orchestra, Watts has been featured on more than 500 recordings, to include projects by Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, and the Rolling Stones.

To close out the CJO’s 11th year, HOLIDAY SWING will take place on November 30, 2019. Maestro Robert Lewis and the CJO will swing the audience into the holiday spirit with big band arrangements of holiday favorites and will also perform a few popular hits from Season 11.

Season subscriptions, trio passes, and individual tickets are now on sale to the general public at www.charlestonjazz.com. Prices range from $10 to $60 per ticket.

About Charleston Jazz:
Charleston Jazz is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote musical awareness and education, including the recognition and preservation of the history of jazz in the Lowcountry through performances, special events and educational outreach. Established in 2008 as Jazz Artists of Charleston, the organization has earned a reputation for presenting, producing and advocating for all things jazz and the artists who bring this music to life in dynamic ways. The organization manages the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, the Charleston Jazz Festival and the Charleston Jazz Academy.

About the Charleston Jazz Orchestra:
The Charleston Jazz Orchestra (CJO) is an 18-person big band led by Maestro Robert Lewis in 2019. The band is comprised of the crème de la crème of South Carolina jazz musicians and is an entertaining, educational and stellar example of the rich history and legacy of jazz in Charleston. The CJO will begin its 11th year in 2019 offering a 6-concert subscription series known for its unique, enthusiastically received performances that contribute mightily to the ever-evolving Lowcountry arts scene.

To schedule an interview or for hi-resolution images, contact Mary Beth Natarajan at marybeth@charlestonjazz.com.