Jazz is one of the most entertaining forms of live music, and big band jazz offers a special fullness of sound and energy. The Spokane Jazz Orchestra performances feature amazing solos and improvisation from highly accomplished musicians and talented guest artists. The music will draw you in, flow through you, put a smile on your face and keep you coming back.
Our 17-piece ensemble is made up of some of the best jazz musicians in the Northwest. Ten are college music professors. Another five are high school music teachers. A number of our musicians have played professionally in big band touring groups and other jazz orchestras, others play in the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. All are dedicated to sharing their love of jazz music and giving the audience a great experience at every concert.
Spokane Jazz Orchestra (SJO) concerts draw from the full range of jazz music – standards from icons like Count Basie and Duke Ellington – along with innovate arrangements of a wide range of music from pop to rock to bluegrass and more.
The season consists of four concerts, in Sept., Dec, March and May. Concerts are held at the Bing Crosby Theater and begin at 7:30 pm.
Our Director: Dr. Don Goodwin
Dr. Don Goodwin is a composer/arranger, performer, music professor and has served as Spokane Jazz Orchestra Music Director since 2015.
He melds his vast knowledge of music and his love of jazz with a spirit of creativity in developing the program for each SJO concert. He makes sure every concert has a special touch and is satisfying for fans of traditional big band jazz as well as those with a more adventurous approach to jazz. Once the guest artists for the season are selected, Don works individually with each one to craft a concert that highlights their talents and brings a new perspective to classic songs.
Don is currently the director of bands at Eastern Washington University where he has taught for more than a decade. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master Degree in Composition from EWU and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in band conducting from the University of Kentucky.
His performance career as a professional pianist and musical director includes extended engagements with The Bob Curnow Big Band and The Tom Molter Big Band. While in Seattle, Goodwin was a member of the popular funk/rock/jazz groups BeeCraft, Flowmotion and LaPush, with whom he toured the country. He has recorded dozens of albums with those and other professional groups.
Don’s award-winning arrangements and compositions have been performed and recorded by high schools, colleges and professional organizations around the country and his music has been published with Gary Gilroy Music Publications, Walrus Music Publishing and ejazzlines.
The creative approach Don brings to the SJO concerts extends to his wardrobe. Audience members look forward to seeing what Don will be wearing as he leads the SJO at each concert.