Concerts

Jazz performance at the museum

Upcoming Schedule & Tickets

 

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful 2015-16 season! Stay tuned for more details on the next season of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. 

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Past Concerts

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Afro-Cuban Jazz: Back In Full Swing
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
National Museum of American History

Friday, October 16, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. feat. special guest Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton

To kick off the new season “in full swing,” the SJMO will spend a special two evenings celebrating the unique sound and development of Afro-Cuban jazz. An innovative sound that shook up jazz 70 years ago, Cuban and jazz music have maintained a healthy marriage through the political challenges of the past 50 years. The concert will feature music of pioneering musicians in Latin jazz, including Chano Pozo (1915-48), Mario Bauza (1911-93), Machito (1908-84) and many other influential composers and performers of this powerful blend of American and Cuban music. For their Saturday performance, the SJMO will be joined onstage by special guest, the Smithsonian's new Secretary, Dr. David Skorton.

 

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Sinatra: His Way
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
National Museum of American History

Friday, December 4, 2015
Doors, food and drink at 6:45 p.m.
Concert at 7:30 p.m.

Just in time for the holidays, the SJMO will feature the songbook of the legendary icon, Frank Sinatra (1915-98), with “nothing but the best” for his centennial. Often referred to as “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” Sinatra possessed an undeniably rich voice and stylistic approach that easily reached the heart, soul and conscience of the world. Equally at home on the concert stage or in front of a movie camera, Sinatra amassed a wealth of creative works. This concert will coincide with the museum’s holiday festival as well as a companion exhibition on Sinatra. 

 

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
A Big Band Love Affair
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
National Museum of American History

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Doors, food and drink at 6:45 p.m.
Concert at 7:30 p.m.

Grab your sweetheart and swing up your Valentine’s weekend with the SJMO as the big band explores the mysteries of love through song. This evening will feature big band arrangements of great love themes that have and continue to provide the soundtrack for many lovers and expand our ability to communicate through music. 

 

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Benny Carter: The Groundbreaking King of Jazz
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
National Museum of American History

Saturday, April 2, 2016 
Doors, food and drink at 6:45 p.m.
Concert at 7:30 p.m.

To kick off Jazz Appreciation Month 2016, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra salutes the masterworks of this year's featured poster artist, the innovative saxophonist, trumpeter, composer, and arranger, Benny Carter. Affectionately known as "King," Benny Carter was a major contributor in the development of jazz. As a musician, he helped shape the alto sax as a solo instrument in jazz; as a composer, he helped create the vocabulary of swing; and as a bandleader and arranger he broke down racial boundaries in jazz and spread the music around the world. As Miles Davis once said, "everyone should listen to Benny Carter, he's a whole music education."

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
A New Sound in Jazz: The Incredible Jimmy Smith
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
National Museum of American History

Saturday, June 11, 2016
Doors, food and drink at 6:45 p.m.
Concert at 7:30 p.m.

The history of jazz is made up of innovators who shook up, redefined and explored the limits of jazz. In a nod to one of the great pioneers of jazz, the SJMO, and special guest Charles Covington, will present the music of the great Jimmy Smith (1925-2005). An NEA Jazz Master, Smith’s chosen instrument, a Hammond B3 organ, was rarely if ever used in early jazz, but through his unparalleled work and talent, he single-handedly popularized the instrument and its unique sound.