About Us

The Motor City Jazz Orchestra is one of Detroit’s newest and more eclectic large ensembles, having performed in a variety of venues, including The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MOCAD) as part of New Music Detroit’s annual marathon of contemporary music and performance – Strange Beautiful Music, Fifth Avenue Billiards, and The Henry Ford Museum. Commissioned arrangements for this ensemble include music by Grammy-winning arrangers David Van De Pitte and Bill Cunliffe, featuring instrumental settings of popular songs by Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, and other popular artists and bands. In addition to their unique selections of contemporary and popular music, the MCJO has a repertoire of more traditional and standard big band arrangements. The MCJO has also featured vocalists, including Bob Mervak, Mark Randisi, and Janice Franco.

The Motor City Jazz Orchestra has many of Detroit’s finest musicians, including:

Trumpets: Bob Jensen, Kenneth Robinson, Jimmy Smith, Mark Byerly, John Hartwick, Rob Smith, Walter White

Saxophones: Keith Kaminski, James Hughes, Carl Cafagna, Mark Kieme, Paul Onachuk, Greg Koltyk, Mark Berger, Brian Romeo

Trombones: John Rutherford, Andy James, Dave Jensen, Vincent Chandler, Randy Hawes, Gary Hellick

Keyboard: Chris Codish, Bob Mervak, Cliff Monear

Bass: James Simonson, Pat Prouty, Takashi Iio, Paul Keller

Guitar: Robert Tye, Colton Weatherston

Drums: Jeff Trudell, Jason Gittinger, Alex Trajano