Dallas Jazz Orchestra

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The Dallas Jazz Orchestra (DJO) is a jazz big band based in Dallas, Texas, founded by Thom Mason and Galen Jeter. Since its beginning in 1973, the DJO has produced numerous notable recordings, two of which were Grammy nominated, and has performed internationally in concerts and jazz festivals, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival. Over the years, the orchestra has featured many of the most outstanding jazz players from the world class jazz program at the University of North Texas. Co-founder Galen Jeter is an alumnus of the University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band who played trumpet with the Woody Herman Orchestra.


The orchestra celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in October 2003. Jeter released a recording titled "The Big 3 – 0." In addition to its performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, DJO represented the United States at the World's Fair in Seville, Spain. The orchestra, under Geter's leadership, has also entertained two United States presidents and accompanied numerous musical celebrities, including Diahann Carroll, Billy Eckstine, Doc Severinsen, Bob Hope, Steve Allen, Mel Tormé, Joe Williams and the Four Freshmen.


In 1973, founders Thomas Mason and Galen Jeter brought together some of the best musicians from the Dallas area to form the Dallas Jazz Orchestra. With no outside financial support, the Dallas Jazz Orchestra played its first public concert in March 1974. The group's first album followed soon after, recorded live at Maxine Kent's in 1975. The second album, also cut live at Maxine Kent's, was produced in 1978. That same year, Galen moved the Dallas Jazz Orchestra into Wayne Morgan's Popsicle Toes where it played weekly for many years. Later the band played at Poor David's Pub on lower Greenville Avenue before settling at the Village Country Club.

Recordings and performances[edit]

Under Jeter's leadership, the Dallas Jazz Orchestra produced numerous additional albums that are programmed on more than 100 radio stations throughout the United States. To this day, Galen Jeter's DJO recordings are featured regularly on jazz radio all over the United States, Canada and Europe. Over more than three decades, Galen has invited hundreds of young talented musicians to join the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, drawing from the renowned jazz programs at the University of North Texas and other schools in the Dallas / Fort Worth Area. Many of the alumni of the DJO have gone on to join the ranks of bands led by well-known jazz greats such as Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Ramsey Lewis, and Stan Kenton. DJO has concertized with numerous luminaries of the jazz world, including Lou Marini, Don Menza, Marvin Stamm, Tom Malone, Bobby Shew and many others.


In recent years, DJO founder Galen Jeter left the organization to form a new band, first known as the Galen Jeter Orchestra, now known as Dallas' Original Jazz Orchestra" (DOJO). Following Jeter's departure, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, now under leadership of Curt Bradshaw, has become less active than Jeter's group (both on the concert stage and in the recording studio), while Jeter's new band (DOJO) continues to perform. Many of the original members of the Dallas Jazz Orchestra now perform with Jeter's new band, while none of the original DJO members participate in the current version of what is called "DJO." The latest album by Galen Jeter's DOJO is titled Where There's Smoke.

Arrangers and composers[edit]

  • Jack Petersen
  • Ray Reach
  • Joe d'Etienne
  • Michael Loveless
  • Paul Baker
  • Bobby Breaux
  • Paris Rutherford
  • Steve Sample, Sr
  • Phil Kelley
  • Dave Zoller
  • Dave Bowman
  • Curtis Fox
  • Tom Wirtel
  • Bob Biegler
  • Dave Romero
  • Chuck Willis
  • Gary Freeman
  • Isi Rudnick


  • Hey Man, (1975)
  • Tuesday the 15th, 1976,
  • North Garland Jazz Live (1980)
  • Super Chicken, (1980)
  • Morning Glory, (1982)
  • Fat Mamma's Revenge, (1984)
  • Live at Montreaux, (1985)
  • Romeo and Juliet, (1988)
  • Thank You, Leon, (1990)
  • Turning Twenty,(1992)
  • Dallas Jazz Orchestra Plays Dee Barton (1994, Grammy nominated, 1996), featuring Don Menza
  • Scrapbook, (1996)
  • Big 30, (2004)
  • Messin' with Texas, Galen Jeter and Dallas' Original Jazz Orchestra (2006)
  • Where There's Smoke, (2009), featuring Drenda Barnett

Recorded by Curt Bradshaw and the Dallas Jazz Orchestra

  • The Dallas Jazz Orchestra Presents Victor Cager, (2006)

External links[edit]