USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra
Photo ©Craig Lovell
Top College Big Band from the 2013 Next Generation Jazz Festival presented by Monterey Jazz Festival
Directed by Bob Mintzer, the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra concentrates on the hard-swinging style of the classic big bands. The flagship of the jazz studies department, the ensemble performs worldwide at jazz festivals, as well as for marquee television and live performing arts events.
As one of the nation’s first jazz studies programs, USC Thornton was a pioneer in developing an academic curriculum for jazz. With some of the finest jazz faculty, the most gifted young musicians are prepared for multifaceted performance careers. Major jazz publications consistently rank the program among the top in the nation. Opportunities for students to perform are abundant throughout Los Angeles, one of the world’s dynamic jazz centers. The TJO is a winner of DownBeat’s Student Music Awards for Large Jazz Ensemble. In 2011, USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra won the Top College Big Band category at the Next Generation Jazz Festival, and performed at the 54th Monterey Jazz Festival. They reprised another First Place finish at the Next Generation Jazz Festival in 2013.