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As part of its season long celebration, the CJO is inviting Chicago jazz fans to an extravagant evening of drinks, passed hors d'oeuvres, dance and classic big band jazz on Friday, March 29, from 7 to 10:30 p.m. in the Empire Room at the Palmer House, 17 E. Monroe in downtown Chicago.

Under the direction of Founder and Artistic Director Jeff Lindberg, one of Chicago’s premiere jazz ensemble features many of Chicago’s top jazz musicians. CJO’s featured guest artist for the 40th Anniversary Gala is René Marie, a nationally loved jazz vocalist the Chicago Tribune wrote possesses “some of the most expressive jazz singing one might hope to hear.”

In addition to dishing and dancing all night to big band and jazz standards, CJO will salute long-time supporter Ray Rusnak for his leadership and support of jazz music and education in Chicago.

The CJO 40th Anniversary Celebration Concert, the culminating event during this, the company’s “Ruby” anniversary season, is Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago’s Fine Arts Building.

This one-night-only, live concert event will boast a who’s who of CJO guest artists past and present. The ensemble is expected to make updates to the line-up in the coming weeks. Single tickets are $35 (balcony) and $45 (floor) and are on sale now at chicagojazzorchestra.org.

Chicago Jazz Orchestra Celebrates Four Decades as Chicago's Longest Running Jazz Orchestra

Chicago Jazz Orchestra in performance (photo courtesy of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra).