With a name taken from a hit song of 1944, you might expect Baltimore’s Sentimental Journey Orchestra (SJO) to stick to tunes from the Swing Era. That was true when Don Steinwig, veteran of the Swing Era’s Jan Savitt and his Top Hatters big band, formed SJO in 1977, but the band has since expanded its repertoire. | Read more>>
This nineteen-piece big band is unique not only in name, but also in mission. They play only compositions by their leader, Dylan Schuman, who graduated from Towson University in 2016, majoring in jazz/commercial trumpet performance. Schuman formed Screaming Art Large (SAL) a few months later. | Read more>>
The Reisterstown Jazz Ensemble bills itself as a “band for all occasions”: weddings, stage concerts, dances, jazz festivals, rock concerts — even funerals. You name it. Band director, trumpeter, and vocalist Scott Cater, who founded the band in 1992 along with lead trumpeter Scott Bowers, his former bandmate at Franklin High School, says he never wanted the band to get pigeonholed into one style of music. | Read more>>
Powerhouse is the official jazz big band of Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC)’s Essex campus. The band was led by bassist Ashton Fletcher until his death in 2015. Since then trombonist John Morgan has directed the band. Pianist George Spicka describes Morgan as “a great director, very knowledgeable, especially with horns, inspirational, with a lot of enthusiasm.” “He gets the musicians to play better than they think they can,” says Spicka. | Read more>>
Common Ground on the Hill started in Westminster in 1994 as a summer festival of American roots music. In recent years Common Ground’s offerings have been expanded to include summer music camps, workshops, and year-round concerts in Westminster and Baltimore. Organizations that present American roots music rarely include jazz, oddly enough, so I was pleasantly surprised when Common Ground announced that it was sponsoring jazz at two of six venues in downtown Westminster on July 7th, with Celtic, blues and “alt-grass” bands at the other four locations. | Read more>>