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Sept 12 Gallivan Live Stream

By Announcements, Events

Don’t miss this live stream hosted by Excellence in the Community today September 12th at 8 pm MDT.

The Night Star Quintet brings together featured members the Night Star Jazz Orchestra. Lead by the vocals of Katrina Cannon, the Night Star Quintet spotlights the soloists of the band that you’ve heard throughout the summers at the Gallivan Center Big Band Dance Nights. The program will feature a variety of styles and standards that all will enjoy from ballads, bossa nova, blues and swing.

You can join the watch party from multiple platforms:

Here’s the line up for a great evening of jazz with the Night Star Quintet featuring:

NSJO Quintet

Katrina Cannon, vocals

Jerry Floor, Clarinet
Brian Booth, Tenor Saxophone
Tom Young, Trumpet
Kevin Stout, Trombone
Dan Jonas, Trumpet

Night Star Jazz Orchestra
Rhythm Section:
Larry Montoya, Bass
Dan Featherstone, Guitar
Merrill Smith, Piano
Dave Featherstone, Drums


Slide those dining table and chairs out of the way and set up a dance floor and we’ll bring some joyful noise into your house!

Salt Lake Summer Nights

By Announcements, Events

It’s time for Summer at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City 2019! We’ll be at the Gallivan Center for four dates throughout this summer with the Night Star Jazz Orchestra and special guests. Catch us on Tuesdays June 11th, August 13th, August 27th and Thursday September 26th. Produced by Excellence in the Community and their sponsors as part of the Big Band Tuesday summer series. Admission is free and all are welcome!

Our first show on June 11th will bring the fabulous Katrina Cannon and guest vocalist John Lambert of Take Five Jazz to the stage. Katrina and John will bring the swagger and sounds of the classic era of the Las Vegas casino shows of the 60’s to the stage.

August 13th we’ll have the fabulous Jay Lawrence with us on vibraphone with fantastic tunes that make the bars of the vibes sing. It’s a smokin’ set that keeps the adrenaline flowing and the dance floor full!

August 27th and Sept 26th we’ll have guest percussionist Don Keipp with us to keep the groove going! We’ll have a great set of bossa-nova, cha-cha and samba’s! We’ll have fantastic vocals from Katrina and John and instrumental features from the amazing musicians of the Night Star Jazz Orchestra.

Share the summer nights with us on the dance floor of the Gallivan Center or relaxing on the lawn. It’s a set of shows you don’t want to miss!

Jazz Arts Celebration 2019

By Announcements, Events

Join us May 11th, 2019, 7:30 pm at the historic landmark Ogden High School auditorium for a free show celebrating jazz arts featuring Katrina Cannon’s fantastic vocals, Jay Lawrence on vibraphone, and special guest Don Keipp on percussion and sharing the drum chair with the fabulous Joe Shaw and the Night Star Jazz Orchestra.

Katrina Cannon

Katrina Cannon

The program will feature numbers from the Terry Gibbs Dream Band and arrangements for Milt Jackson by John Clayton showcasing Jay Lawrence on vibes along with Katrina’s exceptional numbers with charts arranged by Geoffrey Keezer, Gordon Goodwin and John Clayton. The Night Star Jazz Orchestra will be performing wide range of music from ballads to burnin’ swing numbers for an evening celebrating jazz and arts education with members of  the Ogden High School jazz band.

Jay Lawrence

Admission to the event is free of charge. As part of the evening, we’ll be hosting a fundraiser for those that wish to participate to help Ogden High School Director of Bands, Stan Renda raise funds towards the purchase of a new professional marimba, which can cost upwards of $15,000, for his blossoming percussion and jazz education program. Donations toward the purchase of the new marimba can be made directly to the school at the door or prior by contacting Mr. Renda at

The Night Star Jazz Orchestra presents the Jazz Arts Celebration in conjunction with Jazz At the Station as part of a week of jazz arts education with multiple events happening in Ogden during the week. On May 10th the Heritage Jazz Festival will be taking place from 1 pm to 9 pm with multiple school ensembles at Ogden’s Union Station, culminating with the Night Star Jazz Orchestra May 11th. Also happening in Ogden and throughout Northern Utah that weekend, is the “Spike 150” celebration the 150-year anniversary of the Golden Spike ceremony in Utah, commemorating the completion of the transcontinental railroad in America 150 years ago. A day of jazz is a perfect companion to the events happening throughout Ogden to celebrate the connection of East and West with America’s unique gift to the world that is the art of jazz.

OHS Restored and Renovated Auditorium

The venue for the concert is Ogden High School’s crown jewel auditorium, originally built as part of the WPA program in the 1930’s. The Art Deco school building is a true landmark of Ogden and was restored as part of a community effort to save the building.

The event is generously sponsored in part by the Jazz Education Network  Jazz2U grant.
Summerhays Music Center has generously offered to facilitate the purchase of the new marimba, donating shipping and delivery of the new instrument to the school.

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

By Events

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.

Thinking With Jazz

By Events

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

By Events

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!