Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra to swing Newman Center gig

For over four decades, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra has engaged audiences in jazz and related American music. On January 15, the orchestra will perform at the Newman Center.

“Chances to hear live, big band jazz are few and far between,” says Stephen Seifert, executive director of the Newman Center. “This concert provides not only that opportunity, but does so in the form of one of the country’s most legendary ensembles, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.”

The orchestra serves as a creative outlet for some of the nation’s foremost jazz performers, composers and arrangers. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra band began life as the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1966 and has performed ever since. Their new name comes from the Village Vanguard in New York, where they play every Monday night.

The ensemble’s commitment to the original Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra sound is a force behind their longevity and artistry. Several current members of the orchestra played for Jones.

The ensemble’s 2008 recording, Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard, won a Grammy for “best large jazz ensemble.”

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra will perform at the Newman Center for Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m on Jan. 15. Tickets range from $28–$48. Parking is free. A free “Behind the Curtain” lecture will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the Newman Center and TicketMaster. For more information, call 303-871-7720 or visit


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