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Ken Mathieson's Classic Jazz Orchestra

Ken Mathieson's Classic Jazz Orchestra

This is a homegrown band to be proud of – the leader's excellent transcriptions and arrangements have consistently placed them above the ordinary run of traditional jazz outfits

The Scotsman

Jazz with the tang of a bygone era but the spirit of right now

The Herald



  • Colin Steele - Trumpet
  • Chris Greive - Trombone
  • Dick Lee - Saxophones/Clarinet
  • Konrad Wiszniewski - Tenor Saxophone
  • Martin Foster - Saxophones/Clarinet/Bass Clarinet
  • Paul Harrison - Piano
  • Roy Percy - Double Bass
  • Ken Mathieson - Drums/Composer/Orchestrator


Encompasses all styles and types of jazz from its beginning to the 1980s including Ragtime, New Orleans, Chicago, Dixieland, Big Band Swing, Bop, Hard Bop etc. Particular specialisation in the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Carter, Gerry Mulligan as well as various styles of Brazilian music. A special feature is an hour long original suite commissioned by Renfrewshire Council to celebrate Paisley's Thread Industry (The Paisley Thread Suite). Potpourri concerts covering the entire range of our repertoire are especially popular.


The Classic Jazz Orchestra is an 8-piece professional band based in Edinburgh whose mission is to explore the fabulously varied back-catalogue of jazz in an informative and entertaining way. Its remit, however, is to re-interpret, not simply replicate, jazz styles covering the period from the early 1900s to about 1980, while still paying respect to the original source material. In short, everything from ragtime to post-bop, Jelly Roll Morton to Charles Mingus; the versatility and professionalism of its members enables it to do this with accomplishment and conviction. In doing so, it has become recognised as one of the world's leading interpreters of Jelly Roll Morton's music. Unique original arrangements seamlessly incorporate historical references into entirely new settings, making a CJO concert a fascinating blend of the familiar and the novel.

CJO appears regularly at leading jazz and arts festivals throughout the UK and its recordings have consistently achieved outstanding media reviews world-wide. Its CDs are available to buy or download via internet retailers, iTunes and Spotify. CJO also presents concerts with acclaimed international guests such as Alan Barnes (saxes), Duke Heitger & Enrico Tomasso(trumpet), Evan Christopher (clarinet), Angie King and Cecile McLorin Salvant (vocals). Prices for these concerts are negotiable subject to availability.