MMJO: cool jazz, sweet seats

wierd chair

Madison Mellophonium Jazz Orchestra is playing a concert at the historic Al. Ringling Theatre in Baraboo as part of a benefit fundraiser for the historic theater and the Sauk County Artists Association. The “Sweet Seats” benefit event, sponsored by the Sauk County Artists Association and the Al. Ringling Theatre, will be a fun evening of camaraderie, […]

Sun Prairie High School Presents “A Night of Jazz” with the NIU Jazz Ensemble and Guest Artist Rodney Whitaker

Rodney Whitaker

The best high school jazz program in the Midwest is arguably right here in Dane County, at Sun Prairie High School, under the direction of Steve Sveum. This coming Sunday, 11/24/13, the school continues its ongoing relationship with the outstanding jazz program from Northern Illinois University (NIU), with a day-long clinic and an evening concert […]

Wayne’s Music World: Big Band on campus…and off

The UW Jazz Orchestra

The University of Wisconsin Jazz Orchestra is important. It provides a vital training ground for talented students who will take jazz into the future.  It gives those students a foundation in one of the genre’s root forms while exposing them to the masters of yesterday and, in some cases, the masters of today.   45 years […]

Wayne’s Music World: UW Honors Jazz Band hits right notes…and other thoughts

The UW Honors Jazz Band plays its first gig under Professor Johannes Wallmann.
Photo courtesy Michael R. Anderson

The UW Honors Jazz Band is the best jazz idea in Madison in 2013.  But it isn’t just an idea. These kids can flat-out play.  As a veteran “listener” I’ve listened to a lot of good musical ideas.  They don’t always work.  The UW Honors Jazz Band from the fertile musical mind of Professor Johannes […]

Wayne’s Music World: Listening To Irakere, Terry Gibbs Dream Band and a Big Disappointment


I found a “new” CD called Essential Irakere.  Irakere is the Cuban band that had Chucho Valdes, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval and Oscar Valdes as founding members in the 1970s.  Not too shabby.  Essential Irakere is wonderful Afro-Cuban jazz but be warned that the material has been released at various times on various labels in […]

Outstanding High School Jazz Ensembles in Concert on 4/20 and 5/5

Under the direction of the awesome educator Steve Sveum, the jazz program at Sun Prairie High   School is one of the best in the country. As it has often done over the past two decades, the school’s Jazz Ensemble I has been selected as one of 15 finalists in the annual nation-wide “Essentially Ellington” […]

Wayne’s Music World : musings on a new CD, a new group, and a swingin’ band

Gerald Clayton's new CD, Life Forum, came out Tuesday.

Gerald Clayton brings acclaimed new music to UW Union Theater Saturday night. Clayton is touring in support of his just-released album, Life Forum. The no-reserved-seats concert is in the Town Center at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. My first quick reaction – the CD was released on Tuesday — is that Clayton’s composing is maturing. […]

Wayne’s Music World : musings on MJO and MMJO

Joel Kaye and the MMJO

MJO PLAYS MAYNARD The Madison Jazz Orchestra broke out Adrian Drover’s MacArthur Park chart recently at the Brink Lounge. MJO plays a monthly gig at the Brink on the fourth Thursday. Mike Boman took on the challenge of playing the famed Maynard Ferguson solo. Drover’s arrangement of Jimmy Webb’s song makes a great vehicle for […]