SSO and the Nutcracker
Carol Welsman writes: …In 2008 I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to perform (as both a vocalist and pianist) with the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra for the Saskatoon Jazz Festival. Knowing Dean McNeill as a trumpet soloist of the highest calibre, I knew that performing with SJO would be a very memorable musical experience. The level of musicianship was world class; the SJO deserves its national and international recognition. I was impressed with the inclusion of young students in the rhythm section who were clearly aspiring talents. The band embraced all sorts of different musical styles with ease and authenticity. I only hope to be invited back to perform with the SJO again.
Phil Dwyer C.M. writes:... Kudos to Dean McNeill and the SJO for pulling off a great performance of my Changing Seasons piece at the 2014 SaskTel Jazz Festival. Everything from the organizational to the playing was top-notch and I predict more exciting things from this group in the future.
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Eric Platz, Brandon University Jazz Faculty:The SJO is a tremendous cultural asset in Western Canada, presenting great Canadian jazz artists alongside locally-based musicians for engaging and exciting concert performances. I'm grateful for every opportunity I have to perform with the band.
Mike Downes, Humber University Faculty:Molly Johnson recently performed with Dean McNeill and the SJO as part of the 2015 Saskatoon Jazz Festival. From the initial booking to the actual performance, Dean and I (as Molly's musical director) worked together to bring a program of entirely new arrangements for Molly and jazz orchestra to fruition. A lot goes on behind the scenes, and Dean was involved on almost every level, musically and organizationally. Come actual performance time, Dean and the SJO played beautifully and proved they are world-class professionals. It was an absolute pleasure.
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Denzal Sinclaire Verve Recording artist:The SJO, under the direction of trumpeter, arranger & composer, Dean McNeill, is quickly establishing itself as one of Canada’s finest jazz big bands.
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ericneufeld on Welcome to the Saskatoon Jazz… Art Delahey on Welcome to the Saskatoon Jazz…