The Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra was established to provide entertaining and educational big band enrichment to the Rochester community. Big band jazz is the quintessential fusion of individual artistic expression with large ensemble collaboration. While the group prides itself on finding unique and challenging literature to develop and share, the individual improvisational elements of jazz dictate that each performance is unique and memorable. In jazz we never play our repertoire the same exact way twice.

Founded in 1998 under the direction of award winning composer/arranger Dave Rivello, the twenty-piece orchestra has endeavored to be a relevant part of the vibrant Rochester arts community.  This tradition was expanded by Rivello’s successor, Ron Bowks, who directed the band from 2001 to 2018.  Under his leadership the group recorded its first album, Montage, and became a fixture of the Rochester music festival and dance scene.

Now under the Baton of BJ Comer the Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra continues to perform a vast array of traditional and contemporary big band literature in a wide variety of public and private venues across the region. The band released their newest album in May of 2024 entitled “Just Friends”.  You will often find the RMJO at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Ontario Beach Dance Series, and many other community festivals and concerts around town.

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See What Our Fans Have To Say!

We had the wonderful, special opportunity to attend the annual senior dance last evening at the Corning Glass Center. The big band music takes you back to the post war time when music was meaningful and there was excellent talent. We are so lucky to have that experience thanks to the Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. I hope that music never dies. The male singer is fantastic and can still belt out the songs. The female singer was outstanding doing the songs she did. Her voice had a big range and she nailed all her songs - she even could do a great job on the "lounge singer" type song. A big THANK YOU to all the members of the orchestra for giving their time to come to Corning to give us such an enjoyable evening.  -- Sally, 2018

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Most photos by Lisa Ruth Photography