We keep our chops up and inspire each other. That is the best way to keep it up, by playing with people.

Ingrid Jensen

Welcome to 2021! We are kicking off the new year with another CJO Q & A.

This week, we are meeting trumpeter Theresa May!


CJO Q & A with Theresa May

How long have you been with the CJO?

I’ve been with the CJO since 2017.

What is your favorite thing about performing with the CJO?

My favorite thing is playing with the musicians; it is a privilege to make music with everyone in CJO

What has been your favorite concert with the CJO?

The very first concert was selfishly my favorite because I was terrified, but still played very well!

What was your introduction to jazz?

My father, James May and my uncle, Ron Davis. I grew up listening to my dad play trumpet and my uncle singing.

Tell us something about you others may not know.

I teach World Music at Tri-C and John Carroll University; I really enjoy listening to and learning about music and instruments from different cultures.

Who are your top musical influences?

My friends in the music scene all over the world inspire and influence me all the time. They are constantly creating powerful and meaningful music/art.

What are your favorite jazz albums?

What is your guilty pleasure music?

Trap music and Phish

Why do you think jazz should be taught in schools?

Teaching jazz in school gives students another avenue in music, and Jazz is relevant and rich in history.

Why did you choose the instrument that you play?

My father plays trumpet.

Which jazz musician would you most like to have a beer with, and why?

Ingrid Jensen, I met her briefly after a concert at Blu+ and she seems so down to earth, as well as being an amazing trumpet player.

What are some of the other projects/groups you are involved with?  

I play in a group called Mourning [A] BLKstar. We define ourselves as  a multi-generational, gender and genre non-comforming amalgam of Black culture.  I love creating music with the 7 other individuals in the group. We are all creatives from different avenues, but can come together respectfully to create such meaningful and human music. We recently completed a 5 episode docu-series called the Mourning [A] BLKstar Residencies, made possible by a grant from SPACES. This series can be viewed by going to https://blkblur.art/

Back to the stage!

Now that the vaccine has arrived, it’s time for the CJO to start thinking about performing in front of live audiences again. We look forward to returning to playing in Northeast Ohio’s parks, outdoor facilities (from wineries to pavilions), places of worship, stages, and clubs. If you’re as eager as we are to return to live music, please consider booking CJO groups large and small for this summer.

For booking information, contact:

Dr. Scott Garlock


(419) 908-8858