Nebraska Jazz Orchestra Inc

A nonprofit organization

33 donors

The Nebraska Jazz Orchestra was founded in 1975 and is one of the Midwest’s premier big bands, celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year. The ensemble’s concerts feature a variety of traditional big band compositions by jazz masters such as Woody Herman, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, reflecting the rich legacies of the Mississippi Basin territory bands. The ensemble also adds to this legacy by regularly performing new compositions and arrangements.

In addition to its annual concert series in Lincoln, touring concerts, special events, and recording productions, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra has a long-standing commitment to music education. The Nebraska Jazz Orchestra annually presents educational programs for student groups ranging from elementary to collegiate, including the Young Lions All-Star Band, Young Jazz Artist Competition, Jazz Goes to School, and the annual Nebraska Jazz Camp on the campus of Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Young Lions All-Star Band – This all-star student band is comprised of a select group of musicians. Students under age 21 are eligible to submit a recorded audition of a pre-selected jazz standard, along with a scale and improvised solo. From these auditions, 18 students are selected to perform as the Young Lions All-Star Band. These students rehearse and perform together at a Nebraska Jazz Orchestra concert during the concert season.

Young Jazz Artist Competition – This competition is open to all students under the age of 21. Students submit a recorded audition and finalists are invited to a live audition. The winner receives a $250 cash prize and performs as soloist with the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra on one of its season concerts. This unique opportunity allows a promising young musician to play in front of a live and appreciative audience under the tutelage of professional jazz musicians of the highest caliber.

Jazz Goes to School – The mission of Jazz Goes to School is to promote and enrich students' music education by placing musicians directly in schools. Members of the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra visit local schools in small groups to perform jazz for students. These small jazz combos play a wide variety of entertaining jazz music, accompanied by educational insight into jazz history and performance. This program is especially significant because it brings live professional musicians into the schools where budget cuts to arts programs are a common threat to students' arts educations.

Jazz 101 – This program involves providing two schools with 10 free tickets to a Nebraska Jazz Orchestra concert to be used by five students and their parents.  This provides many students with an opportunity to see and hear a professional jazz orchestra.  The Nebraska Jazz Orchestra attempts to provide two different schools with this opportunity each concert.

These educational programs are a vital part of the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra’s mission. With arts programs throughout Nebraska schools continually threatened, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra feels that it has a responsibility to bring the unique American art form of jazz to young people.

Your contribution will help the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra continue to reach audiences of all ages through performance and education.



Organization Data


Organization name

Nebraska Jazz Orchestra Inc

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture


315 S 9TH ST STE 110


(402) 477-8446