The "Upper Austrian Jazz Orchestra" - Diesen Text auf deutsch lesen...
The awardwinning (Billa Jazz Big Band Contest 1993) orchestra was invited to the famous jazzclub Porgy & Bess in Vienna in 1994, to play a series of 10 concerts with various programs and guest soloists.
In 1995 the UAJO invited the legendary trumpet player and composer Kenny Wheeler to do a tour through Austria, Germany and Poland. Kenny wrote some music especially for the UAJO, and at the end of the tour the double CD (WW 2097) The Upper Austrian Jazz Orchestra Plays The Music Of Kenny Wheeler was live recorded (K.W.: For me it is a great privilege and pleasure to have my music played by such a fine orchestra as the UAJO).
In the following years Kenny and the band continously worked together, including also a quintet recording (K.Wheeler-Ch.Maurer Quintet Live at the Porgy&Bess PAO 10720) with the tenorplayer Christian Maurer and the rhythmsection of the Big Band (Helmar Hill p., Alfred Vollbauer dr. and Christian Steiner b.). In summer 1998 the UAJO and Ken Wheeler was invited on a tour through the 7 largest Canadian Jazzfestivals including Montreal and Toronto du Maurier festivals.
Upper Austria is the home of most players in the band, and a well esteemed center and source of creative musicians in Austria.The UAJO is working, following a democratic principle without having a leader standing in front.With all the problems being an artistic collective, we are glad to give all the musicians the chance to develop a certain expression in our music. This common thought caused the band to start a new project in 1997, presenting 10 of the players in the orchestra as composers as well.Kenny Wheeler was involved, too, by arranging a composition written by the singer Ali Gaggl. With this music the UAJO presents his own conception of the contemporary (not only) jazzmusic.
After playing this program (Upper Austrian Jazz Composers Orchestra La Lampe Philosophique PAO 10590) on a tour of 20 concerts through Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia and Italy, it was recorded on CD in september 1998 and appeared in March 1999.
In April 1999 the orchestra worked with Jack Walrath, one of the most outstanding trumpeters and composers from New York, who got famous through his work with Charles Mingus, whoose Big Band he was leading after he passed. Out of this very lucky meeting a tour and a recording with Jacks music resulted in 2000 (The UAJO featuring Jack Walrath and his music, Emarcy Music).
After another tour with Kenny Wheeler through Italy and Austria, the UAJO played at the Grazer Jazzsommer with another legend, Johnny Griffin, whoose originals were arranged by members of the band.
In february 2000 the UAJO played with the wellknown english composer Michael Gibbs at the Jazz Art Festival in Wels and the Radiokulturhaus in Vienna. Michael Gibbs got famous by working with Gary Burton, Carla Bley and John Scofield and composes for the best orchestras and Big-Bands in the world. After this concerts the UAJO and Michael Gibbs were invited to festivals in Zagreb, Velenje and Klagenfurt.
From 2001 on, the UAJO will cooporate with the very famous concert hall Brucknerhaus in Linz, and present very special projects there. The openers were another concert with Kenny Wheeler (music for large and small ensembles) and a project with Slide Hampton in Nov 2002.
In 2001 the members of the UAJO wrote a new program, that works with th 9 symphonies of Anton Bruckner, a composer who raised, worked and lived near the hometown of the orchestra.The composers had the goal to build their own music by using material out of one symphoniy each. So 9 pieces of very unique big-band music were played on tours through Austria and Germany and were recorded in september 2002. This record will be released mid of 2003 (Deference to Anton Bruckner, Emarcy Records).