Brisbane Contemporary Jazz Orchestra

BCJO was started in 2004 by saxophonist David Humphreys. Having recently settled in Brisbane, David was perplexed to find that there was no ensemble specializing in contemporary big band music, a repertoire he had grown up with and that he felt should be kept in the public ear. He set about recruiting professional players, both established and emerging, and set up a regular year long rehearsal schedule that the group maintains to this day. Louise joined early on, retired temporarily while she completed her Doctoral thesis, and re-joined BCJO in 2014 when the piano chair was again vacant. BCJO has performed regularly at the Brisbane Jazz Club since its inception, including annually at the Big Band Festival. It has also appeared at the Valley Jazz Festival, Brisbane Festival (Spiegeltent) and Ambiwerra Festival. Performance highlights include backing virtuoso clarinettist Andy Firth (2017) and performing with L.A. based jazz group San Gabriel 7 (2013).


BCJO features a number of Brisbane's most well respected musicians and performs a wide range of modern big band music including latin, funk, swing and gospel. The repertoire focuses on jazz music from the last 40 years and includes compositions and arrangements by Jaco Pastorius, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Pat Metheny (Bob Curnow), Mike Stern, Michel Camilo, Arturo Sandoval, Bob Mintzer, Matt Harris, Gordon Goodwin and many others. But the band is equally interested in Sammy Nestico, Bill Holman, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton and Woody Herman…. and increasingly, charts by local composers and arrangers. Louise now has seven charts in the band’s book, and works by Tim Davies, Wade Gregory, Brad Esbensen, Andrew Garton and Alan Slater have all been featured over the years. Another key contributor is Dave Cushman (San Gabriel 7), who has penned many solid charts featuring vocalist Ingrid James, who has been singing with the band since 2014.  


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