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Covey Center – Jazz Moments

By | Events

Night Star Jazz Orchestra Covey Center Nov. 19The Night Star Jazz Orchestra will be performing for the first time at the Provo Covey Center on November 19th. “Jazz Moments” is a compilation of our favorite numbers from our summer big band programs, Katrina’s “Excellence in the Community – Women’s Month” show and our “Jazz Arts Celebration” show from from May of 2018.

NSJO Saxophone Section

NSJO Saxophone Section

It’s a fantastic show that will feature the swingin’ sounds of the summer, jazz features from the great players of the orchestra and the beautiful vocals of Katrina Cannon. The program will have something for every one that will make you want to get out of your seat and move. Best of all the show is FREE hosted by Excellence in the Community and its fine sponsors and the City of Provo. The show starts at 7:30 pm, Monday Nov 19th at the Covey Center, 425 W Center St, Provo, UT 84601.

Summer Send Off – Sept. 4

By | Events

Jay LawrenceDon’t miss the swingin’ summer send off this Tuesday Sept. 4th 7:30 pm at the Salt Lake City Gallivan Center. The big band dance party will feature Katrina Cannon and Night Star Jazz Orchestra with special guests Jay Lawrence on drums and the sizzling vocal trio the Sugar Sisters, Katrina Cannon, Melissa Carter, Lisa Dengg. Let’s send off summer with this season’s final performance from the Night Star Jazz Orchestra for Excellence in the Community’s Big Band Tuesdays! We can’t think of a better way to thank you for a great summer season than to spend it with you! Get the word out and let’s pack the dance floor one more time!


Katrina Cannon

Every Song A Moment

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Excellence in the Community – Women’s Concert Series

Katrina from the Ella Fitzgerald tribute in 2017

Katrina Cannon will be featured for a special show, “Every Song a Moment”, Wednesday August 15th, 2018 7:30 pm at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City. This show is one of four featured events for women artists in Utah, sponsored by Excellence in the Community. Katrina has put together a program of music that has special meaning and connection to her life. She has been singing with events for Excellence in the Community for 5 years and her voice has been a prominent fixture of the Excellence in the Community “Big Band Tuesdays.”

Katrina Cannon

The songs chosen for this evening play to moments in my life or are songs that I rarely perform.  I’m excited for this concert venue as it opens up the range of musical possibilities; playing with an intimate smaller ensemble to the larger jazz orchestra.” – Katrina Cannon

With this new show she is excited to share a side of her singing that isn’t heard as often with songs that feature a small group and softer arrangements with the jazz ensemble. That’s not to say the concert doesn’t feature some charts that will pull you out your seat. Everything from Queen Latifa’s rendition of “I’m Gonna Live Till I Die” to “Cry Me A River” will be part of a evening that will feature moments that you will remember, from “Every Song a Moment.”

The show is sponsored by Excellence in the Community and is free admission. The concert starts at 7:30 pm at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Summer Shows 2018

By | Events

This summer at the Salt Lake City  Gallivan Center is going to be unbelievable! They are hosting hundreds of events this year, jazz, rock, pop, blues, rap, hip hop – they have it all. We get to hang with some great folks in Salt Lake’s downtown living room. It’s going to be a blast! We’ll be there smack dab in the middle of it all!

Our shows are FREE ADMISSION, sponsored by Excellence in the Community! What could be better? The fine musicians of the Night Star Jazz Orchestra have some great sets ready for you to dance the night away.

Make sure you put us on your calendar, we’ll be at the Gallivan Center with Excellence in the Community on these dates:

June 12th – Special debut of Vox Nuvo – Jazz vocal quartet featuring Katrina Cannon, Lisa M Dengg, James Densley and Tanner Linton with special guest Tom Young on vocals backed by the Night Star Jazz Orchestra. 7:30 pm.

July 10thVox Nuvo, Tom Young and Katrina Cannon. 7:30 pm.

August 15th – “Every Song a Moment” – an evening of elegance and jazz featuring the artistry of Katrina Cannon. 7:30 pm.

Sept 4th – Katrina Cannon and the Sugar Sisters featuring the Night Star Jazz Orchestra for a night of swing with special guest Jay Lawrence on drums! 7:30 pm.

New Vocal Talent for 2018

By | Announcements

The Night Star Jazz Orchestra is exited to announce two new vocal acts for 2018.

Vox Nuvo 
is a new jazz vocal quartet singing with the orchestra this year comprised of  Katrina Cannon (alto), Lisa Dengg (soprano), James Densley (tenor) and Tanner Linton (bass). The quartet brings the modern sounds of the New York Voices and the classic tunes of the big band era to the stage with the Night Star Jazz Orchestra. Vox Nuvo’s tight harmonies and swingin’ groove will get you moving out of your seat and on to the dance floor.

Tom Young joins us this year as our featured male vocalist. Tom has studied with jazz greats such as New Orleans natives Harry Connick, Jr and Wynton Marsalis. For the last ten plus years Tom has performed all over the world aboard major cruise lines, lived and worked heavily in Las Vegas, as well as traveled with some of the country’s premiere party bands. His sound is smooth and reminiscent of Chet Baker and Harry Connick, Jr. We’re happy to have Tom singing and performing on trumpet with the band.

Don’t miss these new voices with the Night Star Jazz Orchestra this year. We’re available to book shows that feature all of our vocal talent with a vocal jazz quartet, Andrews Sisters style trio and great solo vocalists for a stunning show you won’t forget.


Thinking With Jazz

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Roundtable Q&A: “Thinking with Jazz: The Educational Impact of Improvisation”

In conjunction with the Jazz Arts Celebration concert, a unique discussion and roundtable will

[Portrait of Oscar Moore, Nat King Cole, and Wesley Prince, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1946]

be held at 4 pm, May 9th at Clearfield High School. (Room to be announced.) Kids interested in studying jazz and music in college will have a great opportunity to talk with Dr. Alex Heitlinger (Utah Valley University), Dr. Dan Jonas (Weber State University) and Doctoral Candidate David Hall (University of Utah) in a round table discussion about the art of jazz.
We’ll be talking about the potential benefits of studying jazz improvisation to your critical thinking skills and overall creativity in your studies, careers and research. Technology companies, top researchers and fortune 500 firms strive to find colleagues and employees who have the ability to think in creative ways, build new connections and solve problems with new and elegant ideas. Music and especially jazz can have a distinct impact on how you sharpen those skills throughout your educational career, whether  you strive to be a professional musician or keep playing in the community semi-professionally.
We will be talking about the importance of jazz education in k-12 the first 30 minutes of the discussion, followed by 30 minutes for students to talk with the professors about what it takes to cultivate a successful college career.
References for the discussion:
Night Star Jazz Orchestra

Jazz Arts Celebration 2018

By | Events

We are proud to announce that our jazz education performance for 2018 will be held at Clearfield High School on May 9th, 2018. Our show this year is a celebration of the jazz arts in education, with the support of  Mr. Keith Sorenson director of bands at Clearfield High School. We’re honored to share the stage with Mr. Sorenson’s jazz band with a great program celebrating jazz.

[Portrait of Thelonious Monk, Minton’s Playhouse, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947]

We’ll be featuring Katrina Cannon on vocals and the 2017 Night Star Jazz Orchestra Student Composition and Arranging winner Tony Elison with his arrangement of Thelonious Monk’s “Eronel.” We’ll also feature big band charts from the top writers and arrangers in the business today and will be performing with the Clearfield High School Jazz Band for a few numbers.

Dr. Dan Jonas, Trumpet

Dr. Dan Jonas of Weber State University and Dr. Alex Heitlinger of Utah Valley University will also be performing with the Night Star Jazz Orchestra and will be available to meet with students interested in jazz arts at the University level. Jazz education is a focal tenant of what drives the Night Star Jazz Orchestra, as the study of jazz contributes to a deep understanding of what it takes to be an innovator in the modern workforce of today.

Dr. Alex Heitlinger Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz and Contemporary Performance at Utah Valley University, “Jazz is unique because it asks musicians to re-invent their music at each and every performance. Jazz demands a strong personal approach (and the courage to be yourself) but also forces you to negotiate your musical opinions with those of your bandmates. Learning to play jazz teaches you to listen with an open mind, to communicate clearly and openly, to understand and appreciate differing points of view, to support your peers, to think critically and creatively, and to solve problems on the fly. According to the latest research by Google, these are the skills that best predict success in today’s rapidly evolving workforce”

Dr. Dan Jonas believes the study of jazz is more than just learning the technical side of a solo or playing your part in a jazz ensemble. “I believe jazz education is important for two reasons.  First, to understand jazz – it’s performance and history – is to come to a deeper understanding of what it means to be American.  So much of our shared history, complete with all of its conflicts and compromises, is told through this music and the lives of the musicians who played it.  Secondly, there is so much more to jazz than learning the notes.  In order to be a great improviser, you have to know how to work with people, you have to think on your feet, you have to be a problem solver, you have to deal with your mistakes (and their consequences) in real time, and you have to be adaptable.  I can’t think of any profession or part of life that doesn’t benefit from having those skills.”

The concert program with Clearfield High School is generously funded in part by the Herb Alpert Foundation and the Jazz Education Network Jazz2U Grant.

Herb Alpert FoundationIn 2017 the Night Star Jazz Orchestra produced the Elegant Ella Centennial Celebration at Brighton High School, featuring Katrina Cannon, Jay Lawrence and a 16 piece string orchestra with the Night Star Jazz Orchestra big band.

Don’t miss the show this year featuring great music, fantastic musicians and the unique American gift that is jazz. More details about the show coming soon.

Press Release: press-release-20180509-jazz-arts-celebration

Event Poster:  Jazz Arts Celebration

Tickets: $12 adults, $8 students and children

Location: Clearfield High School
931 S. 1000 E.
Clearfield, Utah 84015

Clearfield HS Choir Room
4:00 pm “Thinking With Jazz” Roundtable Q&A

Clearfield HS Auditorium
6:30 pm Clearfield High School Jazz Band & West Point Jr. High Jazz Band
7:30 pm Night Star Jazz Orchestra

Legacy Music AllianceJazz Education NetworkHires Big H

Katrina Cannon Top 10

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Katrina Cannon

We’re bringing in 2018 with Katrina Cannon‘s favorite charts featuring the Night Star Jazz Orchestra with a great show guaranteed to keep you swingin’ all night long. Records like “Anita Sings the Most”, “Ella Swings Lightly” and “Sassy Swings Again” featured Anita O’Day, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan singing their favorites from the top arrangers and players of the day. We’ll be featuring Katrina’s favorites from some of today’s top arrangers and great local players and some of the best charts from the past. Don’t miss a special show featuring Katrina! Admission is free, sponsored by Excellence in the Community.

Come on out the show this Thursday January 11th at 7:30 pm, help us count down Katrina Cannon‘s Top 10 tunes and dance the night away! There’s plenty of great places to get dinner in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah check out Visit Utah‘s dining page or Female Foodie for new ideas and then join us for the show indoors at the Gallivan Events Center in Salt Lake!


2017 Student Award Winners

By | Announcements

Night Star Jazz Orchestra Student Composition Program Award Winners:

First Place: Tony Elison, University of Utah – “Eronel” – Arrangement
Second Place: Tom Call, New York University – “Tatsu” – Original
Honorable Mention: Clint Sudweeks, University of Utah – “G’s Blues” – Original

We would like to thank all the students who submitted charts to the composition award program this year.  Each chart has specific strengths and demonstrated that each student is willing to take risks and is advancing in their studies. The strength of the submissions for our inaugural year was very impressive.



NSJO Student Composition Program

By | Announcements

We’re exited to announce the first (hopefully annual!) student composition program sponsored by the Night Star Jazz Orchestra. We are opening applications for students in jazz composition to submit new and existing works produced while in school to be performed by the Night Star Jazz Orchestra. This year we are offering two awards of $250 each. We’re committed to helping jazz composition students bring their works to the community. While the funding isn’t very large it is an opportunity to work with other music professionals and to hone your composition and arranging skills.

We will be accepting applications for this year until Dec 5th, 2017. Awards will be announced by Dec 15th, 2017.  Your work will be chosen by a committee of educators and professionals from the Night Star Jazz Orchestra. Undergraduate seniors and masters students are encouraged to apply.

The orchestration for the works should be 5 woodwinds, 4 trombones, 5 trumpets, 4 rhythm. Works that include vibraphone are also accepted. Works with alternate orchestrations will be accepted but standard orchestrations are encouraged. Vocal compositions and arrangements (male tenor or female alto) are also accepted. Utah residents will be given preference but the program is open to all students at accredited Universities in the USA. (We’d like to have you there when your work is performed!) We’ll be planning a performance date in early 2018 to show off your work.

Here are the rules for the program:

  • You must be currently registered at a University in a music program
  • You must submit a short letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor
  • Your work must be at least 50% completed by the time you apply
  • A playable portion of your work should be available to be evaluated in a rehearsal


Questions: please email