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a note from our Music Director, Clayton "Skip" Poole

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We are delighted that you have taken a moment to discover our new web page! The Capital Jazz Orchestra is one of the few fully professional jazz big band orchestras in existence today that offers both a regular season series and presents national tours. Certainly there are numerous community and semiprofessional big bands dotting the landscape; social gatherings that rehearse regularly and are made up of local and avocational musicians that enjoy the idiom and perform for their self-gratification, play for the door at small clubs, local dances, etc. They all need to be applauded for their efforts in promoting the genre.


The Capital Jazz Orchestra, however, is different….

It is a highly acclaimed premier big band orchestra that represents some of the best professional performing musicians from around the country. Our personnel travel from New York City, Washington D.C., Columbus, OH, Providence, R.I., Boston, MA. and other New England states. Our musicians converge to deliver a powerful assemblage of musical talent. The CJO has performed at venues across the country from New Hampshire to Florida, while featuring some of the greatest guest jazz artists in the world today.


Enjoy reading the illustrious backgrounds of our personnel and listen to the musical interpretive expertise of our professionals as represented in the sound and video tabs. Observe what world class jazz artists have to say about their past collaborations with us. Arrangers writing music for the Capital Jazz Orchestra have also written for the Oscars, won Grammy’s and have had their efforts recorded by such artists as Lena Horne & Wynton Marsalis.


We are not in the business of promoting nostalgia as much as we are the business of presenting great music that is fresh and exciting. From bar one, each note and jazz solo emphasizes the spontaneity of this music in the same way as when similar music was originally performed by “name bands” of the big band era. The rare phenomenon today of experiencing a fully professional big band event is not soon forgotten.


Ideally, music should free us from everyday life concerns. If we are able to transport our audiences to a happier place for only a brief moment, then we have been successful in our presentation.


Our vision is to the future and our goal is to breathe new life into those black and white grainy “YouTube” videos while exposing a whole new audience to this wonderful music…. LIVE!


We hope you enjoy our site and look forward to seeing you at an upcoming venue performance.



Clayton “Skip” Poole

Conductor & Music Director


The CJO is a distinguished group of big band veterans comprised of alumni from such orchestras as Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, Artie Shaw as well as the more contemporary bands of Toshiko Akiyoshi and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. The CJO personnel roster of musicians comprises artists from all over the United States. They have collectively shared the stage with such mavens of jazz and popular music as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme’ and Joe Williams, to name but a few.
Over the years, the CJO has welcomed various guest artists for their shows. The collaborated past performances included such icons as The Four Freshmen, Delfeayo Marsalis, Byron Stripling, Butch Miles, Grammy winning Count Basie vocalist Ms. Carmen Bradford and San Francisco vocalist Ms. Clairdee. In the Fall of 2013, the CJO toured across the United States celebrating the “75th Anniversary of the 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert of Benny Goodman” featuring Goodman alumnus and clarinet virtuoso, Ken Peplowski with the full blessing of the Benny Goodman Estate. 

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