Best Large Jazz Ensemble

The heyday of swing and big bands ended decades ago. While there certainly remain both “ghost” bands (e.g., The Glenn Miller Orchestra) and large aggregations that periodically tour and record, keeping a large ensemble together is a tough and thankless job. The Nashville Jazz Orchestra, a unit that’s maintained a roster of 15 or more members since 1996, hasn’t just beaten those long odds — they’ve obliterated them. Under the expert leadership of trumpeter Jim Williamson, the NJO offers the best in jazz repertory, while broadening its book to include contemporary covers and originals from band members. The orchestra’s lineup contains the cream of Nashville’s instrumental corps, and they often collaborate with top area vocalists. If you think there are no possibilities left for big-band music in the 21st century, catch an NJO concert. RON WYNN

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