A New Chapter In Jazz from SNJO: Kenny Wheeler’s ‘Sweet Sister Suite’

The history of jazz is littered with tales of unsung heroes and overlooked genius. It could be argued that trumpeter and composer, the late Kenny Wheeler was one such musician. He moved almost invisibly through the mainstream milieu, yet, he was universally admired by his peers for his important contributions to jazz composition.

A great Review for our latest CD: Kenny Wheeler’s “Sweet Sister Suite”

In 1996, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s director, Tommy Smith commissioned the late Kenny Wheeler to write a suite which, some twenty years on, has been recorded by the seventeen-piece big band. Joining the all-star line-up on this Spartacus Records’ album are Laura Jurd (trumpet) and Irini Arabatzi (voice).

Another fabulous review of our newest CD “Sweet Sister Suite”

SNJO Sweet Sister Suite

THE Scottish National Jazz Orchestra is making a habit of championing under-sung heroes. Firstly, with its reworking of Bobby Wellins’ long neglected Culloden Moor Suite and now with this piece, which SNJO director Tommy Smith commissioned from the great British-Canadian trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, the orchestra has paid tribute to two musician-composers, neither of whom would […]

Another 5* Review for SNJO’s Peter & the Wolf / Carnival of the Animals

Peter & The Wolf + Carnival of Animals

Having cast transformational brilliance over Mozart’s 9th piano concerto, how would the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, directed by saxophonist Tommy Smith and guest pianist Makoto Ozone, handle these two much-loved popular classics? In the event they pulled off a double bill that combined virtuosity and ingenuity with unadulterated theatricality.

5* Review for magical Peter & the Wolf / Carnival of the Animals

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra were once again tonight pushing the boundaries of what many people would expect a Jazz Orchestra to be playing, as two classical works were given new interpretations: “Peter and The Wolf” by SNJO founder/director Tommy Smith, and “Carnival of the Animals” by internationally credited musician and composer Makoto Ozone.

Another 5* Review for “In the Spirit of Django”

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra featuring Martin Taylor at The Queens’ Hall Edinburgh performing “In The Spirit of Django” was simply a perfect marriage of music and performers that provided a very special night for not only any lovers of the music of Django Reinhardt, but 20th century jazz itself.

5* Review for “In the Spirit of Django”

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra ended its 2017 Queen’s Hall concert series with a concert full of fun and exuberance as well as virtuosity.  Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt’s music lends itself naturally to these qualities while also inviting the kind of soulful, sighing note reflection that featured soloist, guitar master Martin Taylor brought to probably Reinhardt’s […]

British Jazz Awards 2017: Please vote now

The nominations for the 31st edition of the British Jazz Awards have just been announced and we received the fantastic news that the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra has been nominated in the category of “Best Big Band” in the 2017  Awards.  

The Scotsman: A Preview -“In the Spirit of Django”

The smoky swing of 1930s Paris will be charged by the 21st-century powerhouse that is the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra next weekend, when the band is set to be joined by the celebrated guitarist Martin Taylor MBE to celebrate the music of one of the most seminal figures in jazz and popular music, Django Reinhardt. […]