The Aarhus Jazz Orchestra (AJO) is one of Scandinavia’s leading big bands, performing more than 70 concerts annually. AJO started out in 1977 as Klüver’s Big Band, under the leadership of Jens Klüver, and is today funded by the Danish Arts Council. Under its new Artistic Director Lars Møller AJO has developed its musical profile towards being a creative contemporary Big Band strongly influence by American, European and World Music roots. The band has performed in Europe and USA with a many of the most important jazz musicians of our time. In 2011 and 2012, concerts have included a three-week tour of USA with Grammy-winner Kurt Elling, concerts with guitar icon John Scofield and drummer Bill Stewart, with pianist Mulgrew Miller and Jeff Ballard. Musicians like Thad Jones, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, Abdullah Ibrahim, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Carmen Bradford, Deborah Brown, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer and Kenny Werner have all performed with the band. In recent years AJO has done projects with Kala Ramnath and Abhijit Banerjee from India and musicians from Gambia in cooperation with Jon Balke and Geir Lysne. Since one of the band’s most important objectives is to enhance the knowledge and enjoyment of jazz among young and old alike, an important part of Aarhus Jazz Orchestra activities is aimed at elementary and high schools.
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