Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra

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The Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) is a Canadian jazz musical group based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 2016 it has 16 members. The group performs mainly music created and arranged by its members.[1] Their present label is True North Records.


The Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra was formed in 1994 by Michael Occhipinti and pianist Paul Neufeld.[2] In 1995 the orchestra's first album was produced, and it won a Juno award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album).[3]

In 1998 NOJO release the album You are Here, which was re-released in 2000.[4]

In 2002 the band formed a smaller nine piece core group for touring.[5]

NOJO has performed at the Umbria Jazz Winter Festival in Orvieto, Italy, The Jazz Standard in New York, and Montreal’s Festival International de Jazz.

In 2004 the group released the album City of Neighbourhoods, with Sam Rivers, on True North Records.[6] The album received distribution in the United States through Rounder Records. IN 2005 they performed at the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival [7]

The group has released five recordings of original music, each of which has been nominated for a Juno award.

In 2010 the orchestra released NOJO Explores the Dark Side of the Moon, which features the band performing original arrangements of Pink Floyd’s classic album.

NOJO has been positively reviewed by Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times, Larry Applebaum, JazzTimes, Frank Rubalino Cadence, Rinus van der Hayden, Brabants Dagblad, Netherlands, and Kerry Doole, The Jazz Report.[citation needed]

A number of well-known musicians have been guest performers with the orchestra, including saxophonist Joe Lovano, trombonist Ray Anderson, trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, clarinetist Don Byron and the late saxophonis Sam Rivers, who both recorded and toured with the ensemble.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 1996: winner of Juno Award, Best Contemporary Jazz Album, NOJO
  • 1997: nomination for Juno Award, Best Contemporary Jazz Album, FireWater
  • 1999: nomination for Juno Award, Best Contemporary Jazz Album, You Are Here (with Don Byron)
  • 2003: nomination for Juno Award, Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, Highwire
  • 2005: nomination for Juno Award, Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, City of Neighbourhoods (with Sam Rivers)


  • 1995: NOJO (Au)
  • 1996: FireWater (Au)
  • 1998: You Are Here with Don Byron (True North)
  • 2002: Highwire with Don Byron and Hugh Marsh (True North)
  • 2004: City of Neighbourhoods with Sam Rivers (True North)
  • 2010: Explores the Dark Side of the Moon (True North)


  1. ^ Coda Magazine. J. Norris. 2004. p. 113. 
  2. ^ "Currentt reviews: Jazz and Improvised".The Whole Note. 01 February 2009
  3. ^ Tom Henighan (2000). Maclean's Companion to Canadian Arts and Culture. Raincoast Books. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-55192-298-0. 
  4. ^ "Album Review: You are Here". Today's Country BX93, Alex Henderson, Rovi
  5. ^ "NOJO tighten up". Now Toronto, by Matt Galloway May 23, 2002
  6. ^ "NOJO with Sam Rivers: City of Neighbourhoods". All About Jazz, Feb 17, 2005
  7. ^ "N.O.J.O.". The Live Music Report, June 24, 2005 Toronto by David Fujino

External links[edit]