The Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to bringing the finest big band jazz to the Chippewa Valley region as both entertaining and educational experiences. The CVJO brings together many of the finest musicians throughout the region to perform jazz in a concert setting. Among the members of the CVJO are many of the most respected jazz musicians in the Chippewa Valley, including full-time performers, music educators, students, and other community members with a passion for the art of the big band. This substantial collection of talent makes it possible for the CVJO to tackle a wide variety of musical styles and eras, and their concerts will reflect both the traditions that are the underpinnings of jazz as well as the works of more modern composers. Our goal, above all others, is raise public awareness of the richness the the one great American musical art form, jazz.
In addition to playing great big band jazz, the primary goal of the Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra is education. We see education as being a multi-faceted opportunity. Whether it is giving high school jazz musicians a chance to perform side-by-side with a world-class guest artist, providing free clinics to local schools, or bringing public attention to the wide array of amazingly talented jazz composers living amongst us in the Valley, the CVJO strives to always keep education at the forefront of our mission. We feel that it is through education that jazz will continue to thrive throughout the 21st century.
The CVJO performed our first concert at the Heyde Center in Chippewa Falls on February 20th, 2010. When we realized that we had hit on something that people wanted to hear, we developed a full five-concert season for the the 2010-2011 year, including a concert of local composers at the Mabel Tainter Theater in Menomonie, our concert with world-famous trumpet virtuoso Wayne Bergeron at Regis High, our History of the Big Band concert at the Oxford, and our Local Vocals show with Christine Hitt, Adrian Klenz, Cathy Reitz, Mitra Sadeghpour, and Randy Sinz. Our 2011-2012 concert series included concerts with the Chippewa Valley Youth Symphony, and All-Ellington concert, a holiday blow-out with the Chippewa Valley Symphony, and a show featuring music from TV and film! Our 2012-13 concert series inaugurated the CVJO High School Honors Festival with trombonist Mike Nelson from the Hornheads as well as our first holiday concert and an all-Basie show!
Our 2013-14 season was highlighted by our first composer-in-residence, Mr. Andrew Neesley from the Manhattan School of Music and and all-Stan Kenton show in May! 14-15 proved to be our best year so far, with performances from Wayne Bergeron, Luis Bonilla, and our live recreation of the Sinatra and Basie at the Sands album!