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The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

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Nobody bothered to tell Thad Jones and Mel Lewis that big-band jazz wasn’t viable in the modern era, because they started one of the most successful modern jazz orchestras from the ‘60s onward. The Jones/Lewis was a thriving concern until Jones’s 1979 departure, and then Lewis took the helm until his death in 1990. Pianist and composer Jim McNeely then became nominal chief/director. While they indeed keep the roaring sound of the Jones/Lewis band alive, the newly dubbed Vanguard Jazz Orchestra also performs fresh compositions, serving as a school for the New York City's best musicians.

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Years Active:

'90s, '00s