The Jazz Composers Alliance was founded in 25 years ago to support, develop and promote the art of music composition in the jazz idiom. The Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra was founded to help realize that goal, and it has been a fixture on Boston’s creative music scene since its first performance in December 1985. The JCA has released 7 critically acclaimed CDs. The group has performed (and on a few occasions, recorded with) an illustrious group of guest performer/composers, including Sam Rivers, Julius Hemphill, Dave Holland, Maria Schneider, Henry Threadgill, Steve Lacy and Oliver Lake. Drawing on influences that span the history of jazz and the world's musical traditions, the JCA Orchestra has brought together a huge palette of sounds, structures and concepts.
Darrell Katz, director of the Jazz Composers Alliance, helped to found the organization after being
impressed by the success of other composer’s collective groups. Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Katz has
lived in the Boston area since 1975. The Boston Phoenix calls him “... one of Boston's most ambitious and
provocative jazz composers."
“25 years is a long time to keep a creative jazz orchestra going” says Katz,“but what’s remarkable is not so much that we’ve survived but that we’ve never stopped trying to keep moving the music forward.”
Of Katz’s last disc, The SAME THING, critics say:
“This is music for mind and soul” –The Montreal Gazette
“Over his career and small discography, bandleader Darrell Katz has forged an identity as a progressive and creative orchestrator of new music in a way that few can claim. Beyond the modern signatures of Gil Evans and Maria Schneider, the style of Katz is best known not only for jagged edges and vast colors of the musical spectrum as much as direct correlations to tradition.” –All Music, Michael G. Nastos
“The Same Thing is a bold and impassioned musical statement from a composer who revels in the myriad possibilities afforded by a talented and flexible big band. One cannot help but admire Katz and the JCA for their dedication and commitment to creative music.” –Jazz Review.com
“Crazy, avant-garde, third-stream, god-knows-what big band composition that manages to stay in touch
with what Julius Hemphill called "the hard blues." –Lerterland, David R. Adler