The Metropolitan Jazz Octet (MJO) is the reawakening of a group that was originally started in the 1950’s by saxophonist/arranger Tom Hilliard.
From the late 1950's to the 1980's Hilliard wrote many of the group's composition. He worked with Chicago’s top arrangers to expand the library to 150-plus charts. In 1959, the group 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 library, passing the torch to the next generation.
The current octet started exploring Tom Hilliard’s library in 2014, and has since expanded to include new works by it's members.
Now lead by Jim Gailloreto, John Kornegay and Bob Sutter, MJO is made up of the most talented musicians active in jazz and music education in Chicago. Together they create a unique and fresh contribution to the spirit of jazz.