What’s New

Orbert Davis’ CJP Chamber Ensemble celebrates the centennial birthdays of two of the jazz genre’s most influential artists: Thelonious Monk and Ella Fitzgerald. While Ella’s music has been a staple of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic performances, new arrangements of Thelonious Monk works will premiere under Orbert Davis’ baton.

Orbert Davis Wants To Keep Jazz Alive In Schools

Award-winning Chicago musician Orbert Davis is best known as a world class jazz trumpet virtuoso, but he’s also an educator who wants to keep music in schools.

Davis, the founder of the 55-piece Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, is also an Emmy-award winning composer. Another passion that runs deep: teaching jazz, and other life lessons, through the Jazz Alive Program.

“It’s about, ‘Boy if I can spend some time with my instrument, I will be better.’ And we also transfer those skills to their academic success as well. Do more reading. Do more studying of words. Make your words come alive through you instrument,” he said.

For the young musicians at Lionel Hampton Fine and Performing Arts School in the city’s Ashburn neighborhood, the lessons are priceless.

“I learned that if I practice a lot I can turn out to be just as good as him,” Terron Montgomery said.

“It’s been an honor. I’ve learned a lot from watching him perform, watching him speak, watching him work with kids,” music teacher Nadine Smith said.

“When you stepped forward, you are now performing with them,” Davis said. “They will never forget that and that’s what school should be: experiences that we never forget.”

Davis and school administrators said there aren’t discipline problems in the schools that offer Jazz Alive. Instead, the educators see improvements in grades and a stronger sense of community.



By Hosea Sanders




10th Anniversary Gala

Think Big 10th OD site


The Arts Club of Chicago
201 E. Ontario St., Chicago

5:30 PM Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
7:00 PM CJP Chamber Ensemble Performance and Program
8:20 PM Dinner

Inaugural Founder’s “Think Big” Award Recipient
Lauren Deutsch, Jazz Institute of Chicago

Proceeds from this Gala support the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic performance and education programs.

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Orbert Joins The Signature Symphony In Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Tulsa Community College Student Ensemble, led by Reid Bennett, recently concluded the Signature Symphony’s Big Band Pops series celebrating the sounds of the Big Band era, under the direction of Emmy winning trumpeter, educator and composer Orbert Davis. Orbert served as both conductor and guest soloist.

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Living In History… Twice!

In celebration of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s 10th anniversary, the Chicago Symphony Center performance of “The Godfather of Third Stream: Gunther Schuller” featured a rare appearance by composer Gunther Schuller who coined the term, “Third Stream” in 1957. The evening also marked the World Premiere of the first CJP commissioned work, “Suite for Jazz Band and Orchestra,” by Daniel Schnyder, who performed as guest soloist.