Wow! What a great night!!! So many thanks to so many for making the CJO Annual Benefit such an enjoyable evening and an incredible success! To all who came and to all who support the CJO’s mission of bringing great jazz music to our stages and schools, we are SO grateful.

It was a treat for all concerned – Helen Welch and the CJO were in great form, and the food, drinks, camaraderie and dancing made for a really memorable evening for all. THANKS SO VERY VERY MUCH!!! We will get our date set soon for next year’s event and will let you know via these pages.

Now, on to our season – “If You Could Hear Us Now.” If you’ve not bought your subscription series tickets yet, you’ve still got time – visit our upcoming concerts page for more info about our 2017-2018 season…

“You Should Hear Us Now!”

For 32 years, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra has promoted jazz in its historical and contemporary forms mixing the finest internationally recognized jazz musicians, arrangers, composers with the CJO. Led by Musical Director Paul Ferguson, this upcoming season the CJO will present our usual array of uniquely creative arrangements performing a celebration of jazz centennials, the music of Love, Latin music, Christmas music and our annual collaboration with The Musical Theater Project.

In addition to presenting our subscription shows at Playhouse Square, we are excited to announce some new venues for the CJO to be enjoyed–we’ll be starting our season in November at the Cleveland Museum of Art with Vanessa Rubin and we’ll be doing a Sunday matinee at the Temple-Tefereth Israel with The Musical Theatre Project in Beachwood.

We are also really pleased to announce a four-concert partnership with downtown Akron’s BLU Jazz+. BLU Jazz+ is a stunning live music venue with state-of-the art stage/sound & lighting which caters to its patrons by providing a relaxing atmosphere for light socialization and the presentation of quality live jazz (regional & national). Blu Jazz+ also offers a chef-inspired menu of exquisite entrées & small plate specialties, full-service bar boasting premium liquors, signature cocktails, and inspired wine & beer selections, and a fabulous photography gallery!

Here’s our Musical Director Paul Ferguson’s thoughts on the upcoming season; “From our historic opening night at the Cleveland Museum of Art to our rousing closer at Playhouse Square, please join us as we celebrate the artistry of some Cleveland jazz legends–Tadd Dameron, Vanessa Rubin, Ernie Krivda, Helen Welch and up and comer Dan Wilson performing the best in jazz through its many years and many styles.”

You Should Hear Us Now!
CJO’s 2017-2018 Season:

November 9 (BLU Jazz+) and 10 (Gartner Auditorium, The Cleveland Museum of Art) 2017

Vanessa Rubin Sings!
International recording star and Cleveland native Vanessa Rubin pays a centennial tribute to a remarkable quartet born in 1917-Cleveland’s own Tadd Dameron, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Ella Fitzgerald. In honor of the first jazz recordings that were also made that year, we’ll offer some big band Dixieland as well.
NOV 9 BLU Jazz+ tickets…
NOV 10 CMA tickets…


December 8 (BLU Jazz+) and 9 (Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square) 2017

Peanuts meets the Grinch! Featuring Russ Mitchell and Evelyn Wright
WKYC’s Russ Mitchell narrates “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and Louis Armstrong’s last recording, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” along with swinging versions of the perennial favorite “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” CJO vocalist Evelyn Wright is incredibly versatile and always commands the room when she joins us. Bring the whole family for our annual Christmas shows! Tickets…


January 27 (Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square) and 28 (Temple-Tefereth Israel) 2018

Gershwin In Hollywood, featuring Vince Mastro and Treva Offut
Continuing our rich annual collaboration with The Musical Theater Project, the CJO joins forces with the TMTP for a loving and informative tribute to George and Ira Gershwin, focusing on their final years in Hollywood. Co-hosted by Bill Rudman and Paul Ferguson. Tickets…


February 8 (BLU Jazz+) and 9 (Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square) 2018

Love in Cleveland, featuring Helen Welch and Ernie Krivda
The best date night in Cleveland! Premiere singer/entertainer Helen Welch joins the CJO in an evening of loves songs, from Rodgers and Hart to the Beatles! Ernie’s energy and creativity have captivated NEO audiences for decades, and Helen is a consummate performer, loved by her audiences for her voice and for her charismatic stage presence. Tickets…


May 11 (BLU Jazz+) and 12 (Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square) 2018

Caribbean music explosion, featuring Dan Wilson, guitar
Dan Wilson is one of the great talents rising in Jazz today-his treatments of Afro-Cuban, Samba and Bossa Nova are not to be missed! Currently performing with organist Joey DeFrancesco, catch this rising star on our annual Latin music show. Tickets…


Temple Arts June 25 2017 Concert

8/12: Nighttown w/ Vince Mastro
8/19: The Grove Amphitheatre, Mayfield Village
8/26: Tremont, Lincoln Park
9/17: CJO Benefit at the Executive Caterers at Landerhaven
11/3: CJO Quartet at John Knox Presbyterian Church, North Olmsted
11/9: BLU Jazz+ w/ Vanessa Rubin
12/8: BLU Jazz+ w/ Russ Mitchell WKYC and Evelyn Wright
1/28: The Temple-Tifereth Israel w/ The Musical Theater Project
2/8: BLU Jazz+ w/ Helen Welch and Ernie Krivda
2/10: Firelands Symphony Orchestra (Sandusky) w/ Helen Welch
4/14: Akron Symphony Orchestra
5/11: BLU Jazz+ w/ Dan Wilson


Your Feedback and Support Wanted!

What a season we’ve had–Joe Lovano, Nia Drummond, Tierney Sutton, Latin music, Soul music all with great arrangements and greatly played. Can you give us your thoughts about our shows? We value your opinion and would appreciate hearing from you. Give us a call at 216-287-0945 or email us at with any comments or suggestions!




Kenny KoblitzAs a 25-year fan of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and a member of its board, I am honored and proud to have been chosen to be Executive Director as the CJO begins its 32nd season. Teaming with Artistic Director Paul Ferguson, Booking Agent Dr. Scott Garlock, Personnel Manager George Shernit and our Executive Committee and Board, I promise everyone another exciting season.

Our goals for the short term include; increasing concert revenues, donor gifts and exposure in PlayhouseSquare and the Greater Cleveland area. None of the above can be accomplished without the incredible talents of our orchestra members and the continued support from our loyal donors.

Recently, the CJO received a generous bequest from the estate of the late Irving Fine, a long time fan and adviser to the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. All of us are looking forward to honoring his memory with a presentation to his lovely wife, Gloria.

I look forward to meeting all of you at the Hanna as well as at our appearances at Nightown The Bob Stop,The Music Box and many other venues that we will be playing.

We encourage everyone to introduce friends and relatives to “THE BEST DAMN BIG JAZZ BAND IN THE LAND.”

All the best to all of you,

Kenny Koblitz
Executive Director


Upcoming Shows

CJO Benefit

2017/2018 SEASON
Vanessa Rubin - BLU Jazz+
NOV 10
Vanessa Rubin - CMA
DEC 8 & 9
JAN 27 & 28
Gershwin in Hollywood
FEB 8 & 9
Love in Cleveland
MAY 8 & 12
Caribbean Music Explosion


Nighttown w/ Vince Mastro
Grove Amphitheatre, Mayfield Vil.
Tremont, Lincoln Park
CJO Benefit
CJO Quartet (North Olmsted)
BLU Jazz+ w/ Vanessa Rubin
BLU Jazz+ w/ Russ Mitchell WKYC & Evelyn Wright
Temple-Tifereth Israel w/ The Musical Theater Project
BLU Jazz+ w/ Welch & Krivda
Firelands w/ Helen Welch
Akron Symphony Orchestra
MAY 11
BLU Jazz+ w/ Dan Wilson