Our MISSION is…

to enrich the cultural and intellectual fabric of the communities we serve through jazz. We NOURISH our community by actively leading in our region’s cultural community, promoting Cleveland, reflecting Cleveland’s diversity, and serving as a musical beacon. We PERFORM to play the best jazz you’ve ever heard and the best jazz you’ve never heard.

Meet the Orchestra

Trombone

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson has played trombone with fine musicians in idioms spanning classical, Latin, jazz and gospel. In addition to writing and performing many different styles of music, Chris has won various local and national competitions and has performed with groups including the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Heritage Orchestra. Chris currently works with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District through the All-City Arts Program. In addition, he is an instructor at The Music Settlement and Cuyahoga Community College. Among recordings Chris has contributed to Dave Morgan’s The Way of the Sly Man.
Trombone

Chas Baker

Trombonist Chas Baker recently retired from Kent State University where he was an associate professor of Jazz Studies and led the KSU Jazz Ensemble. His backround includes experience as a soloist for the Austrian Radio & TV Network Big Band in Vienna, Austria. In 1968-69, as a U.S. Army band man, he was trombone soloist with the 1st Air Cavalry Division Band, Viet Nam. Chas has been a very active player with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and in that capacity has performed behind guest artists including Bob Brookmeyer, Joe Lovano, Maria Schneider and John Hollenbeck. He also has worked in concerts starring the likes of Tony Bennett and David Sanborn. In 1997, the KSU Alumni Association and the KSU Foundation honored him with its Distinguished Teaching Award.
Trombone

Brett Balika

Brett Balika is a music educator and freelance trombone player from DeKalb, Illinois. After receiving a Music Education degree from DePaul University in Chicago, he taught for two years in Illinois before moving to Cleveland. He is currently the Garfield Heights Middle School Band director and resides in Cleveland Heights. He has performed with world renowned jazz icons John Fedchock, Jiggs Whigham, Jimmy Heath, Jeff Hamilton and Phil Woods. In addition to those performers, he has also performed with the Youngstown Symphony, University Heights Symphonic Band and the DeKalb Municipal Band.
Trumpet

Dave Banks

Trumpet player Dave Banks has returned to northeast Ohio after a 20-year career in Las Vegas where he performed in more than 4,000 shows. In Las Vegas, Dave worked with many famous entertainers and was a member of the Lou Elias Relief Orchestra. Dave has also performed with the Nevada Symphony Orchestra, The Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Nevada Chamber Orchestra. He also was a trumpet instructor and assistant director of bands at the University of Nevada. He is a member of the faculty of Walsh Jesuit High School, where he teaches music and drama. Dave regularly performs with the Jack Schantz Jazz Unit and Ernie Krivda’s Fat Tuesday Big Band. He also leads his own group, the Dave Banks Big Band.
Guitar

Daniel Bruce

Dan Bruce is a recent transplant to Ohio after spending a decade as an important member of Chicago’s jazz community. He is active throughout the Midwest and nationally as a performer, recording artist, composer and educator. He has performed on more than twenty-five albums as a sideman, and has released two albums, A Single Thread and Earthshine, as a leader. As a performer and recording artist, Bruce has had the opportunity to work with a number of eminent musicians including Seamus Blake, Ali Jackson, Dan Wall, Lynn Seaton, Rose Colella, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and Marquis Hill.

As a composer Bruce has been featured in The Chicago Composers Collective series at The Green Mill and The Jazz Institute of Chicago NextGen Jazz Series, and several of his compositions and arrangements have been published in Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine. His works have been performed locally by The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and The Brad Wagner Nonet as well as a number of college ensembles, and he recently received an Individual Excellence Award in Music Composition from the Ohio Arts Council.

Bruce is currently on faculty at Youngstown State University and Cuyahoga Community College.

“…a generous, accessible sound with an exploratory edge, Bruce brings a finely-polished technique that is at the same time subtly discontent, searching for new expressions and willing to take some chances along the way.”

-Troy Dostert, allaboutjazz.com

Saxophone

Christopher Burge

Christopher Burge began his musical career at the Ohio State University, where he studied saxophone and music theory with Gene Walker and Hank Marr, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance in 1997. During that time, Christopher toured Thailand with free-jazz group Honk, Wail and Moan, toured Europe with the OSU Jazz Ensemble, played on a USO tour of maximum-security prisons, and played concerts with Barry White, Louie Bellson, Stanley Turrentine, The National Black Music Caucus Big Band, and the Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show. Since moving to Cleveland in 1998, Christopher has played with internationally know artists Gino Vannelli, David Sandborn, Cyndi Lauper, Mavis Staples, Ronnie Spector, Clark Terry, David "Fathead" Newman, "Little" Jimmy Scott, Bobby Caldwell, Benny Golson, Eddie Holman, Nancy Wilson, Diane Marino, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Heritage Orchestra, Ernie Krivda and the Fat Tuesday Big Band, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame house band, and area musicians such as Evelyn Wright, Helen Welch, Joe Hunter, Joe Bell, Sammy DeLeon, Dave Sterner, Ray Porrello, and Bill Ransom. Christopher is also active in the recording studio, playing saxophone, flute and clarinet for American Greetings e-cards, and he wrote and performed the theme song of the WVIZ-PBS TV show, Applause. Currently, Christopher teaches saxophone at Skyline Music in Westlake, Ohio, and performs with his own trio and the blues-swing band Blue Lunch, which has just released its 8th CD, Above the Fold, on RipCat Records.
Tenor Saxophone

Johnny Cochran

A native of Cleveland’s southwest side, Johnny Cochran attended Cleveland School of the Arts and Cuyahoga Community College simultaneously during high school, studying saxophone with Ernie Krivda. He has had the opportunity to perform with artists such as Clark Terry, Carl Allen, Jason and Wynton Marsalis, Randy Brecker, Mike Lee, Billy Hart, and Rodney Whitaker. Johnny studied with Gary Bartz at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. While the saxophone is his primary instrument, Johnny also is proficient in piano, drums, and several other woodwind instruments.
Saxophone, Trustee

Chris Coles

Christopher J. Coles is a saxophonist from Cleveland, Ohio. In 2009 Chris received his Bachelor Degree in Saxophone Performance from Youngstown State University. It was here that he studied with world-renowned saxophonist and educator Dr. James C. Umble, jazz saxophonist Dr. Kent Englehardt, and jazz bassist and composer Dr. David Morgan. In 2012, Chris received his Master Degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Akron. Chris is currently on faculty at Kent State University and the Aurora School of Music.

Chris has performed with many local and international jazz musicians such as, Eddie Baccus Sr., Melvin Burks, Kenny Davis, Glenn Holmes, Bill Ransom, and Cecil Rucker, Grammy Award winner Slide Hampton, Ralph Lalama, and Allen Vizzutti. In 2010 Coles was accepted to perform in Italy with the Ohio Youth Jazz Orchestra. In Italy, Coles performed with Wessell Anderson, lead alto saxophonist for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Some of Chris’s recent accomplishments include being a participant at The Banff Workshop for Jazz and Creative music in Alberta, Canada. Chris had the distinct honor of studying with some of the great pioneers in jazz today such as Vijay Iyer, Mark Turner, Imani Izuri, Tia Fuller, Billy Hart, Ingrid Jensen, Zakir Hussain, Somi, Vosany Terry, and Miles Okazaki to name a few. Chris also played at the North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Festival in West Virginia with the Dana Saxophone quartet, performing at the International Saxophone Symposium in Washington D.C., and premiering a commissioned work by John Hollenbeck at the Whitney Art Museum Composers Workshop. Coles also recorded this work on John Hollenbeck’s album Rainbow Jimmies released in 2009. Visit http://www.christophercolesmusic.com.

Artistic Director

Paul Ferguson

Artistic Director, Paul Ferguson has been director of Jazz Studies at Case Western Reserve University since 1988. A graduate of the University of Akron and the Eastman School of Music, Paul has traveled with the Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller bands as lead trombonist and arranger and currently fills those functions with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. Paul was principal trombonist of the Canton Symphony from 1989-98 and at various times has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Opera, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Apollos’s Fire, the Cleveland Chamber Brass, the New Hampshire Festival Orchestra and various groups across Northeast Ohio. In 1995, Paul was the recipient of the Gil Evans Fellowship in Jazz Composition.He has two recordings–”Blue Highways”, recorded with the RIAS Big Band of Berlin, and “Friends”, recorded with his own orchestra. Last summer, Paul taught at an International Jazz Seminar in Zarautz, Spain, wrote three arrangements for the Glenn Miller Orchestra and wrote three arrangements for the Cleveland Pops for use on the Drew Carey show.
CJO Executive Director, Lead Trombone

Scott Garlock

Scott Garlock is a full professor of Music at Ashland University. He has a degree in music education from Kent State University, two master’s degrees from the University of Akron (music performance and music history) and a doctorate from the University of Iowa. In addition to teaching for over five years in the public schools, Scott has also taught at Mount Union College and at Knox College. Scott was cited by Benny Green at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival for this “positive, spirited leadership. He is also a member of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Mansfield Symphony Orchestra. Scott served as president of Ohio’s chapter of IAJE, and of JECO (the state jazz education organization) which he helped create.
Bass Trombone

Paul Hungerford

Cleveland Jazz Orchestra charter member Paul Hungerford received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in trombone performance from Cleveland State University along with his teaching certificate. He was a trombone student of James Taylor and a bass trombone student of Ed Anderson. A charter member of both the CJO and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Paul also is a member of the Heritage Brass Quintet. He has played with many big band performers including Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. Paul is currently the band and orchestra director at Wiley Middle School in the Cleveland Heights/University Heights School District.
Trombone

Mark Mauldin

Mark Mauldin is known in the Cleveland area as a versatile trombonist and low brass specialist, as well as a gifted music educator. Mauldin has taught in the Hudson, Woodridge, and Rocky River school districts as director of the vocal and instrumental music programs. He is currently a member of the East Cleveland City School District. Mauldin has also played with numerous Broadway musicals that have come through Cleveland. He has worked with artists ranging from Johnny Mathis to The O'Jays to Natalie Cole to Aretha Franklin. Mauldin is currently working on a doctorate degree in Music Education from Kent State University.
Trumpet

Theresa May

Theresa J. May is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She received her Masters degree in trumpet performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and her Bachelor of Music from the University of Dayton. Theresa keeps a vigorous performance and teaching schedule. She is adjunct faculty at Cuyahoga Community College where she teaches Applied Trumpet, African American Music History and World Music. Theresa also plays trumpet in the Cleveland Opera Theater Orchestra and has performed with the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Sherrie Maricle, in the month-long production of Maurice Hines’ Tappin’ Thru Life at the Cleveland Playhouse. She has also been featured as a guest artist in the Alumni Recital Series at the University of Dayton.
Trumpet

Scott McKee

Scott McKee is a seventh-generation Cleveland musician who began his trumpet career at age 5, playing at church with his father Jack. At age 19, he played and recorded with Aretha Franklin in a performance that led to others with renowned bands. Scott received his undergraduate degree in Trumpet Performance from Cleveland State University. He returned to Cleveland after attending grad school at the University of Colorado in Boulder (Jazz Trumpet). Scott can be seen all over the Cleveland area, backing up major artists and off-broadway musicals as their shows run through town, and featured on many big band and salsa gigs.
Trumpet

Joseph Miller

Joseph Miller is one of the most asked-for trumpet players in Northeast Ohio. His searing sound, joyful approach and high-energy solo work can be heard in all kinds of music and in all kinds of situations, from bashing funk rock to straight up classical... and fortunately for Joe, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. Classically and jazzily trained, Joe has toured and performed extensively with all sorts of international, regional, and local artists. Joe currently holds the lead trumpet chair at Playhouse Square and has played for too many nationally touring Broadway shows to mention. Joe has also toured internationally with the grammy-nominated Acide Jazz group, LIquid Soul, and also with Bobby Caldwell. Joe has played lead and solo trumpet for Aretha Franklin, La India, Tony Vega, Tony Bennett, Frankie Valli, Barry Manilow, The Funk Brothers and many others. He has also been a featured soloist with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra. His recording credits are many and varied, including Grammy-nominated recordings with Doug Johns, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Jack Schantz Jazz Unit, Paul Ferguson's Jazz Orchestra, Sammy DeLeon, the late Gerald Levert, Impacto Neuvo, First Light and many more. Joe has been a member of the music faculty at Cleveland State University since 2011, specializing in jazz and commercial music. Joe is a proud Cleveland State University alum and former (and forever) student of both Charles Couch and Kenny Davis, and he credits Jack Schantz for helping him learn what it really takes to be a professional musician.
Bass

Aidan Plank

Aidan Plank is a bassist living in Northern Ohio. He currently serves as bassist for the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Jazzworks, Nous, and plays in a duo with the guitarist Daniel Lippel. Aidan’s own ensemble, Pulse, explores original compositions by its members as well as a diverse range of music composed by well-known and obscure jazz composers.

As an educator Aidan serves as the jazz bass instructor at Kent State University and at Cuyahoga County Community College’s “Jazz Prep Program”. Aidan has also served as a clinician and adjudicator at the Maplerock Jazz Festival (2016) at Ashland University and at the Lakeland Jazz Festival at Lakeland Jazz Festival (2018) at Lakeland Community College.

Performance highlights include performances with: Dan Wall, Joe Lovano, David Berkman, Tim Armacost, Tierney Sutton, Vanessa Rubin, Gerald Clayton, John Fedchock, Bill Dobbins, Bruce Johnstone, Joe Maneri, Steve Davis, Robin Eubanks, Jamey Haddad, Michael Philip Mossman, Carl Allen, Randall Woolf, and others.

Aidan has performed at Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, The Knitting Factory (NYC), Spectrum NYC, Elastic Arts (Chicago).

Aidan is a graduate of Cleveland State University.

Saxophone

Bettyjeane Quimby

Berryjeane Quimby recieved a BM in music education from Cleveland State University and a MM in music performance from Cleveland State University. As a woodwind specialist she performs locally with a variety of professional concert bands, orchestras and jazz ensembles including the pit orchestra for Great Lakes Theater at Playhouse Square.
Drums

Jim Rupp

Jim Rupp has toured extensively with the bands of Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and Glenn Miller. He is the drummer on three Woody Herman CDs: The Fiftieth Anniversary Tour, which was nominated for a Grammy Award, Legacy and Live In London. Jim spent eight years with Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Diane Schuur, and also has performed with artists such as Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Joe Lovano, Hank Marr, Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, and Natalie Cole. Jim presents workshops and educational clinics all over the country, currently teaches jazz drumming at The Ohio State University and has taught at the University of Michigan. He also is past chair of the drum set committee for the Percussive Arts Society and is the resident of Columbus Pro Percussion, Inc.
Trumpet

Jack Schantz

Jack Schantz was artistic director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra from 1994 to 2009. Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Akron, Jack has toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and Woody Herman. He also has worked in the pickup bands of Jimmy Dorsey, Larry Elgart and Guy Lombardo. Among shows he worked: Miss Saigon, Annie Get Your Gun, Guys and Dolls, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Color Purple and The Sound of Music. He also has performed with artists such as Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Cleo Laine, Jack Jones, Nancy Wilson and Diane Schuur. He has played trumpet and flugelhorn with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Blossom Festival Orchestra, the Blossom Festival Band, and the Akron Symphony Orchestra. He led the Jack Schantz Jazz Unit in the ‘90s, and in 1993 recorded Speechless under the Jack Schantz Jazz Quartet name. He also contributed to the Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra’s Big Band Christmas album and to Dave Morgan’s The Way of the Sly Man. Schantz earned a bachelor of arts degree in theory from the University of Akron as well as a master’s degree in trumpet.
CJO Librarian and Personnel Manager, Baritone Saxophone

George Shernit

Baritone saxophonist George Shernit has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He also has worked numerous Broadway shows and is featured on records by the CJO, the Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Symphonic Winds. Shernit earned a bachelor of arts degree in music theory and composition, as well as a master’s degree in performance, from Cleveland State University. Shernit has taught at Cleveland State, Case Western Reserve University, Ashland University, University of Akron, and Muskegon University. A charter member of the CJO, he also is the band’s personnel manager. He is a district sales manager with Jupiter Band Instruments.
Alto Saxophone

Brad Wagner

Saxophonist and Composer Brad Wagner originally hails from Akron, Ohio. In June of 2003, Brad received his B.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Brad has studied with Rick VanMatre, Brad Goode, Phil DeGreg, John Von Ohlen, Marc Fields, Ernie Krivda, and others. Brad Wagner has been a member of many jazz groups including The Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Ernie Krivda at the Fat Tuesday Big Band, The Hendectet Jazz Collective, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and more. Brad leads his own quartet and sextet and stays busy composing and arranging for various groups and projects. Visit his website at www.bradwagner.net.
Piano

Jackie Warren

One of the best jazz and Latin jazz pianists and arrangers in northeast Ohio, Jackie Warren has been called the “first lady of jazz” and has released three recordings of her own: Near You, Live at the Wi-Fi Cafe and Oblivion. A native of the Colorado plains, Jackie earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree—in classical piano—from Cleveland State University. A specialist in merengue and salsa, Jackie also has worked on recordings by the Jazz Heritage Orchestra and by Impacto Nuevo, the area’s leading Latin band. Visit www.jackiewarren.net.
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