Jazz St. Louis – JazzU Big Band and the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra
For nearly a decade, the JazzU program has identified the top middle and high school jazz talent in the St. Louis area and focused on teaching improvisation in a small-group setting. The JazzU Big Band is Jazz St. Louis’s first foray into creating an all-star student big band, which returns to Ferring Jazz Bistro stage on October 29. Students audition for the JazzU program each spring, which this year attracted more than 130 to the auditions. From that 130, 54 were accepted into the larger program.The JazzU Big Band represents the top 17 students in the JazzU program and is led by Jazz St. Louis’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, Phil Dunlap.
For over 25 years, the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra (CYJO) has provided the opportunity for talented high school musicians to further their experience in America’s classical music – jazz. Comprised of premier players in grades 9-12 from central Ohio and beyond, the CYJO has a 30-week season during the school year, and performs at the Southern Theatre prior to each of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra’s Sunday matinee concerts. The CYJO plays literature of the highest level with repertoire from the libraries of the great big bands, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Oliver Nelson, Benny Goodman and Dizzy Gillespie.