Acclaimed Vanguard Jazz Orchestra to Perform Feb. 25


The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 in Baldwin Hall Auditorium as part of the Kohlenberg Lyceum Series.

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra started out as the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1966. In February of that year, the newly formed band was scheduled to perform three Monday evenings at New York City’s renowned Village Vanguard jazz club. The evenings were successful, and the engagement was extended indefinitely. Since then, the orchestra has performed more than 2,700 Monday nights over the course of more than 50 years, and is still going strong. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra’s regular Monday night gig at the Village Vanguard is the longest-running steady engagement in the history of jazz.

With Jim McNeely as its composer in residence since 1995, this 16-piece jazz orchestra has continued to honor the legacy established by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis. More than half of the albums in the band’s robust discography have been nominated for Grammys, with two of them winning the coveted award. In addition, the orchestra has performed on five continents and has won 11 “Best Big Band” awards in the DownBeat magazine readers’ and critics polls.

Admission is free but tickets are required. Tickets can be obtained at the ticket window in Baldwin Hall the night of the event, or they can be reserved in advance at the Sue Ross Arts Center in downtown Kirksville, the Admission Office, the Union and Involvement desk, the Kirksville Chamber of Commerce and the Advancement Office in McClain Hall 205. For additional information, visit, call 660.785.4133 or email

This event is in conjunction with the 54th Annual Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival, taking place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 in Baldwin Hall Auditorium.
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