The Metropolitan Jazz Octet is the reawakening of a group that was originally started in the 1950’s by saxophonist and arranger Tom Hilliard.
MJO and Dee Alexander will soon release “It's Too Hot for Words" on Delmark Records.
past & present
Today the Metropolitan Jazz Octet is the reawakening of a group that was originally started in the 1950’s by saxophonist & arranger Tom Hilliard.
From the late 50's through 80's Hilliard wrote many of the group's 150 (+) charts. He also worked with Chicago’s top arrangers to expand the library.
In 1959, the MJO recorded an album on the Argo label called “The Legend of Bix,” a tribute to 1920's cornetist and composer Bix Beiderbecke.
As a professor at De Paul University School of Music, Hilliard taught three members of the current MJO to whom he bequeathed his musical library, passing the torch to the next generation. Now led by Jim Gailloreto, John Kornegay and Bob Sutter. MJO is made up of eight talented musicians who are active in jazz and music education in the Chicago area.
This current group started exploring Tom Hilliard’s library in 2014, and has since expanded to include new works from MJO members.
These eight musicians join to create a unique and fresh contribution to the spirit of jazz.