Most big band standards are between 5 and 8 minutes long to make sure it’s a danceable length — not too long, not too short. Starting in the fifties, composers began borrowing from their classical collegues by experimenting with longer compositions, writing pieces as suites or multi-movement forms. Our season ends with our concert of long-form jazz. It will be epic.
Now in its eighth season, the Turner Center Jazz Orchestra (TCJO) is the resident professional ensemble of the Turner Jazz Center at Drake University. A not-for-profit organization, the TCJO is dedicated to authentic, high caliber performances of American jazz and particularly the music of the big band tradition. The organization is committed to the promotion and preservation of both the historic and contemporary repertoire of this original American music.
The ensemble is a 17-piece big band led by Founding Artistic Director Andrew Classen, Professor of Trumpet in the Department of Music at Drake and the Fred & Patty Turner Professor of Jazz Studies. Members are all highly accomplished professional musicians and include some of the most prominent artists and jazz educators in Iowa. Several members are inductees and special honorees of the Des Moines Jazz Hall of Fame.