BLU Jazz+ teams up with Cleveland Jazz Orchestra for 2017-2018 season

April 3, 2017 -

Summit County music fans will enjoy series of big band concerts presented at the award-winning Akron club
AKRON, Ohio (April 3, 2017) – As part of the 2017-2018 concert season, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, one of Northeast Ohio’s most prominent & long-running big bands, will bring several shows from their subscription series at Cleveland’s PlayhouseSquare to Akron’s BLU Jazz+.
Led by trombonist, composer & arranger, Paul Ferguson, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra (CJO) promotes jazz in its historical and contemporary forms, through concerts with gifted jazz musicians, arrangers, composers and educators in northeast Ohio.
“The CJO has loved playing at BLU Jazz+ every time we’ve been there. The space is intimate, accommodating and the vibe of the patrons and staff make for really unique evenings. Many of the CJO members have played in various other groups at BLU, and just love the reception they get and the music they make there,” says Ferguson.
The upcoming season is set to highlight some of the region’s finest talent, including featured guest performers Vanessa Rubin, Evelyn Wright, Russ Mitchell, Helen Welch, Ernie Krivda & Dan Wilson.
“This is a really special opportunity for us…to present such a wonderful series at our venue with a top-notch group like the CJO, we’re really excited about it,” says Mike Wyatt II, VP of Talent & Events at BLU Jazz+.

The following concerts will be presented in partnership with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra at BLU Jazz+ during the 2017-2018 season:

  • November 9, 2017 • “Vanessa Rubin Sings!”
    International recording star and Cleveland native Vanessa Rubin pays centennial tribute to a remarkable quartet born in 1917-Cleveland’s own Tadd Dameron, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Ella Fitzgerald. In honor of the first jazz recordings made that year, the band will offer some big band Dixieland, as well. • Get Tickets

  • December 8, 2017 • “Peanuts Meet the Grinch!” ft. Russ Mitchell & Evelyn Wright
    WKYC’s Russ Mitchell narrates “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and Louis Armstrong’s last recording, “T’was the Night Before Christmas”, along with swinging versions of the perennial favorite “A Charlie Brown Christmas!” • Get Tickets

  • February 8, 2018 • “Love in Cleveland” ft. Helen Welch & Ernie Krivda
    The best date night in Northeast Ohio! Premiere singer/entertainer, Helen Welch, and legendary North Coast saxophonist, Ernie Krivda, join the CJO in an evening of love songs, from Rodgers & Hart to the Beatles! • Get Tickets

  • May 11, 2018 • “Caribbean Music Explosion” ft. Dan Wilson
    Dan Wilson is one of the great talents rising in jazz today – his treatments of Afro-Cuban, samba & bossa nova are not to be missed! • Get Tickets


The CJO has performed several concerts at BLU since the club opened in October 2014: “A Not-So-Silent Night” holiday program and a tribute to Roland Paolucci – founder of The University of Akron Jazz Studies program and longtime Musical Director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.
The band will perform an “Afro-Cuban Explosion” concert at BLU Jazz+ on Friday, April 7, 2017 featuring Grammy-nominated New York trumpeter & composer, Michael Philip Mossman, for a dynamic exploration of the intersection of music from Africa, Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean – mambo, montuno, salsa, samba & more.
Tickets for all of the 2017-2018 CJO concerts at BLU Jazz+ are on sale now at


About Cleveland Jazz Orchestra

For 32 years, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra has been Northeast Ohio’s premier jazz voice. Led by trombonist, composer & arranger, Paul Ferguson, the CJO promotes jazz in its historical and contemporary forms, through concerts with gifted jazz musicians, arrangers, composers and educators in northeast Ohio. The CJO aims for worldwide recognition in cooperation with guest artists, and looks to shepherd young musicians toward the future of jazz. This season exemplifies this mission and vision through a variety of new music, new compositions and arrangements, and a stellar line-up of well-known guest artists and young up-and-coming talent.
Members of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra include Paul Ferguson, Chris Anderson, Chas Baker, Dave Banks, Johnny Cochran, Scott Garlock, Paul Hungerford, John Klayman, Jackie Warren, Aidan Plank, Jim Rupp, Jack Schantz, George Shernit, Howie Smith, Brad Wagner.



BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017, 2018)
Committed to the preservation of America's treasured art form of jazz, BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) is a new program developed by the founders of BLU Jazz+ Akron that brings “front-row” jazz education performance & mentorship opportunities to student musicians and art lovers alike through an ongoing series of special events throughout the year.