The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) is an award-winning, 17-piece big band comprised of many of the region's leading jazz soloists and band leaders. The SRJO is the Northwest's only permanent ensemble dedicated to the accurate and historically observant performance of the great works of big band jazz. Drummer Clarence Acox nationally recognized former director of bands at Seattle's Garfield High School, and saxophonist/arranger Michael Brockman, a long-time faculty member at the University of Washington School of Music, founded the SRJO in 1995. As early as 1988, however, many of the players had assembled for a now-annual concert of the Sacred Music of Duke Ellington, presented by Seattle's Earshot Jazz Society. A 1992 "Evening of Ellington" program, presented by Brockman at the University of Washington's Meany Theater, brought together players not normally included in the sacred concerts and featured new transcriptions by Brockman of classic Ellingtonia.
MEET THE BAND
Here is SRJO with Ignacio Berroa in 2019 Photo Jim Levitt
Ignacio Berroa was a special guest with The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra for three concerts in April. The Cuban drummer, who has lived in the U.S. since 1980, was Dizzy Gillespie's last regular drummer beginning in 1981.
Notable as a jazz drummer and an expert in Cuban music, he is well-traveled with his own groups, as a sideman, and as an educator. This edition of Jazz Northwest highlights music by Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Mintzer, Ignacio Berroa, and a genuine Cuban cha-cha-cha by violinist and composer Felix Reina. The concerts were recorded in April at the Kirkland Performance Center and the Edmonds Center for the Arts.