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Charleston Jazz Orchestra Announces Schedule for 13th Season



Charleston Jazz today announced details for the Charleston Jazz Orchestra’s (CJO) 13th Season. The 2021 season will feature a lineup of performances to include a musical timeline of the history of the big band, an exploration of jazz around the world, a jazz twist on symphonic classics and the Charleston Jazz tradition “Holiday Swing.”

Guest artists for Season 13 will include Jon Faddis for a Dizzy Gillespie tribute and Manny Houston for a Jazz on Broadway production. Season Subscriptions, Trio Passes, and Individual Tickets are on sale now at or call the Charleston Jazz box office at 843-641-0011. Individual ticket prices range from $25 – $62. Senior rates for 65 and older. $10 for students and children. Save 10% off individual tickets prices with a Season Subscription. Save 5% off individual ticket prices with a Trio Pass.

“I’m extremely excited for the shows we have lined up for 2021,” Music Director Robert Lewis said. “We start off with Big Band Legacy, where we will track how the sound of the big band has changed over the history of the music. We follow that with World of Jazz, exploring versions of jazz from outside the United States. We’ll bring back a favorite theme from the early days, Symphonic Swing, in which we take well-known classical pieces and turn them into swingin’ jazz tunes. Manny Houston will return to sing with the band for Jazz on Broadway, and trumpet legend Jon Faddis will be our guest artist on a Dizzy Gillespie tribute, Groovin’ High! Of course, no CJO season would be complete without Holiday Swing. We all continue to be blown away by the incredible support by the Charleston community, it is really a privilege to be a part of this amazing arts scene.”

The full schedule – with descriptions from CSO – can be seen below:

March 27, 2021 – BIG BAND LEGACY Evolution of the Jazz Orchestra

Developing in tandem with the growing dance craze, the Jazz Orchestra (aka Big Band) took shape during the 1920s with early innovators such as Paul Whiteman and Fletcher Henderson, who merged jazz’s rhythmic and instrumental characteristics with the scale and structures of an orchestra. Big Bands then ushered in the swing era in the early 1930s with Duke Ellington and continued its legacy with Count Basie, Mary Lou Williams, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Maria Schneider, Gordon Goodwin, and more, each playing a significant role in the development, innovation and popularization of orchestral jazz. The rest is history! Join your Charleston Jazz Orchestra as we present a musical timeline of the BIG BAND LEGACY Evolution of the Jazz Orchestra.

April 17, 2021 – WORLD OF JAZZ A Global Experience
Influenced by West African culture and European classical music, an adventurous new style of music emerged in America at the dawn of the 20th century. Jazz quickly found its way beyond the borders of New Orleans, emanating its sound and message around the world. Join your Charleston Jazz Orchestra for WORLD OF JAZZ A Global Experience as we explore the International influence of jazz and the genre’s ability to unite people and cultures from all corners of the globe.

May 22, 2021 – SYMPHONIC SWING Jazz Meets the Classics
Although Jazz and Classical music are different in many ways, the border between the two genres is a fluid one. America’s Classical music (Jazz) lives and breathes spontaneity while being contained within the technical mastery of a composition. With SYMPHONIC SWING Jazz Meets the Classics, your Charleston Jazz Orchestra will bring the world of improvisation and swing to notable Classical compositions, bridging the gap, bending the genres, and introducing the styles of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Billie Holiday to Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven to name a few.

September 18, 2021 – JAZZ ON BROADWAY Starring Manny Houston
Get your tickets and take your seats as the curtain opens onto your Charleston Jazz Orchestra’s JAZZ ON BROADWAY Starring Manny Houston. The neon lights will be shining bright as Manny Houston returns from NYC to perform with your CJO, bringing the best of Broadway to the Charleston Music Hall stage. Tonight will be Some Enchanted Evening as Anything Goes with All That Jazz! There will be magic in the air as we give our regards to Broadway.

October 23, 2021 – GROOVIN’ HIGH A Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie featuring Jon Faddis 
With a relationship that spanned 30 years – from idol to mentor to friend, few living musicians have such a deep connection to jazz legend and pioneer of Bebop, Dizzy Gillespie than Jon Faddis. When Faddis blasted onto the jazz scene, audiences were amazed at the young musician’s range, techniques and ability to successfully mirror the complex style of Dizzy Gillespie. Faddis soon developed his own trademark style and is now known as one of the most innovative and inspiring jazz trumpeters of our time. Even Dizzy described Faddis as “He’s the best ever – including me!” Living legend Jon Faddis will join your Charleston Jazz Orchestra to pay tribute and celebrate the musicianship and life of jazz great Dizzy Gillespie.

December 4, 2021 – HOLIDAY SWING: A Charleston Jazz Tradition
Maestro Robert Lewis and your Charleston Jazz Orchestra will swing you into the holiday spirit with big band arrangements of winter classics and holiday favorites. Add some jazz to your holiday cheer with this Charleston Jazz tradition!
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