The Capital Jazz Society produces and promotes a variety of live jazz events, including the Monday Night Big Band and Lincoln Jazz Series.
The Capital Jazz Society is a nonprofit organization that presents a series of high quality jazz events twice weekly for much of the year. There are two component programs of the Capital Jazz Society:
The Monday Night Big Band provides a regular series of live music in traditional big band style. Musicians are selected from a large pool of local musicians, and there is a different combination every week. Musicians from the community may bring instruments and sit in with the band. Regular players include a mix of musicians from college to seasoned professionals aged 17-60+. High school and college jazz ensembles are invited to perform as the featured group certain weeks.
The Monday Night Big Band was conceived in the finest of Monday Night Big Band traditions started years ago by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis at the Village Vanguard in New York City. This tradition is now being carried out every Monday night in many cities throughout the U.S. The current instrumentation is five saxophones, four to five trumpets, four to five trombones, piano, guitar, bass and drums. It has also included vibes, harmonica, percussionists, other winds, French horns, tuba, vocalists, and electric cello in the past.
Each week, the Monday Night Big Band is comprised of some of the top local professional jazz musicians and college students. The directors who lead the band each week are
also some of the finest jazz musicians in the state - strong performers and educators at the high school and collegiate level. This provides an excellent example for the student musicians who participate by playing with the band. It also allows students to learn from direct interaction with professional musicians. The director each week selects music from an extensive library of big band jazz literature.
The Lincoln Jazz Series (formerly Thursday Night Jazz Series) presents local, regional, and national jazz groups weekly for unique, high-quality performances. This series allows for freedom of expression without commercial expectations.
The Lincoln Jazz Series features outstanding local, regional and occasionally nationally recognized jazz ensembles and
artists in its weekly concert series. Recent performers have included the Bob Krueger Combo, Andy Hall Combo, Hightops, NWU Jazz Ensemble, and The Frank Basile Quintet.
Capital Jazz Society audiences include jazz fans of all ages, including students fulfilling requirements for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s “History of American Jazz” courses and Nebraska Wesleyan University’s “Music Appreciation” course.
Goals of the Capital Jazz Society include presenting professional, high quality performances not available elsewhere and providing performance and learning opportunities.