Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra with special guest Kurt Elling embarks on a worldwide celebration of jazz through community, creativity, diversity and inclusion.
As the national jazz orchestra, the 18-piece SJMO promotes and shares some of the greatest music that jazz has created. Throughout the years the orchestra has distinguished itself as one of the treasures of the Smithsonian—itself a preeminent national treasure.
The band has performed for audiences across the United States and throughout Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, bringing treasured jazz music to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the White House and the U.S. Capitol, Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater, the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, prestigious music festivals, and schools and colleges around the world.
Possessing a remarkably expressive baritone, Kurt Elling spent much of the last year touring with saxophone great Branford Marsalis, who featured him on his Marsalis Music quartet album Upward Spiral. For this concert Elling is joined by The Swingles, the five-time GRAMMY Award-winning British jazz vocal ensemble created by American-born arranger Ward Swingle. The seven-member group has been a leading force in a cappella for over four decades. Featured on Glee and Grey’s Anatomy as well as the soundtrack for the Harvey Milk biopic Milk, the Swingles infuse everything from Björk to Bach with lush jazz harmonies.