The John Burnett Orchestra
The John Burnett Orchestra was formed January 28, 1999 in Chicago by Broadcaster/jazz radio host John Burnett of 90.9FM WDCB Public Radio, Chicago's only full time Jazz Station (www.wdcb.org).
Over the years, the band has become well known for it's sheer accuracy of recreating the sounds of the swing era, the bands of the past such as Basie, Miller Herman, Dorsey,and others.
It is praised for its tightness and use of musical dynamics and praised even more so for its ability to swing mightily. Some Critics have said that we can sound more like Basie than Basie as we duplicate the sounds of arrangers like Neil Hefti, Freddie Green,Nestico, Frank Foster and others. We are seen as a delight for listeners and dancers alike. Our recordings on Delmark are a treasure but those who follow us around are always knocked out by hearing the band live.
The band has played almost every jazz club in Chicago, The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, major corporate functions and weddings and theatres like the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, Illinois. It's beauty and elecrifying sounds are as a result of the fact that most musicians are Julliard standard, highly proficient and are brilliant soloists.
Each section of the band (four trumpets, four trombones, five saxes, piano, bass and drums) consist of musicians who are all rhythm concious in every way and their ability as a team to play our brilliant arrangements makes the band come alive with stedfast accuracy in recreating the name bands of yesteryear in a tight manner, but with streamined solo techniques and dynamic accuracy.
Ou regular vocalist Ms. Frieda Lee is a great attraction to those who love Ella, Sarah, Carmen MacCrae and other big band vocalists. Her reputation accross the United States is high. She has sung and toured in the past with Basie vocalist Joe Williams, also Kevin Mahogany and others.
Many of the sidemen in the band have also been with other name bands. In some cases certain players have left the band to join the Glenn Miller Band but have then returned to the JBO.
We are also an organization that is fully compatible with major stars. As an example when trumpeter Byron Stripling, vibist Peter Appleyard, Trumpeter Randy Sandke, and Drummer Louie Bellson plus Ernestine Anderson performed with us they brought their own arrangements and requested a rehearsal before the show. After a couple of minutes they realised that rehearsals were not neccessary due to brilliant reading,execution of dynamics, and tight accurate performances of the ensemble.
Should a potential client need us to put together a show that consisted of high profile and world renowned performers such as Tonny Bennett, Michael Buble, or any other well known jazz performer the band can read and interpret at sight. If a theatre needed a band of this size to perform for a summer season or longer for a number of Major artists we could do it perfectly.
The performing standards of the band are self monitoring since each musician is accountable for rhythm, Intonation, pitch, dymanics and they listen to each other. This is why we do absolute justice to Basie, Herman, Miller, Buddy Rich when we perform their arrangements in public.
As proof of our standards and abilities you have only to google certain phrases such as: The John Burnett Orchestra, or Reviews of the John Burnett Orchestra CD's or ask for reviews of our specific recordings: Swingin In the Windy City, West of State Street / East of Harlem with Trumpeter Randy Sandke or our recent album in 2010 Down for Double. Many critics will tell you about how wonderful this band is and why we are such a pleasure to listen to.