Go to the Brink!

Go to the Brink on Thursday night, Feb 22 for the swingingest band in the area!

The MJO performs 2 sets – 7:30 pm and 9 pm – of charts from the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Count Basie band and more!

No cover charge ($5 suggested alms for the band). Great pizza and small plates available at the bar along with a great selection of wine, beer and super cocktails.

See you at the gig!

Celebrate the warmth

It’s been in the upper 40’s all week so the Holiday lights should be up and set. So take a break and come down to the Brink Lounge, East Washington Avenue and Blount Street, Thursday November 30.

The band hits at 7:30 pm with 2 sets of not so much holiday music but all of it will swing! A mix of Stan Kenton and Buddy Rich too.

See you there.

Start your weekend with the MJO!

Start your Memorial Day weekend with the monthly MJO gig at the Brink Lounge this Thursday, May 25!

We’ll celebrate the season with “Spring is Here”, “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” and “I Love Paris [in the Springtime]” and we’ll salute Mothers’ Day by playing Phil Wilson’s “Outrageous Mother.”

We’ll also observe some May birthdays: Maynard Ferguson [“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”], Miles Davis [“So What,” “Tutu”] and Bill Holman who turns 90 on May 21 [SEVERAL charts!] We always like to perform charts written by MJO members and alumni; this month we’ll play Paul Dietrich’s beautiful version of “Skylark” as well as the title track from Rick Hirsch’s new CD “Pocono Git-Down”.

The Brink serves excellent food & drink at reasonable prices, what better way to enjoy great live music! There’s a suggested donation of $5 but if you’re a little light on cash just come in & sit down, nobody will hassle you. All this and more at The Brink Lounge on East Washington just a few blocks from the Capitol in beautiful downtown Madison, Wisconsin this Thursday 5/25/17, 7:30 – 10 PM.

Celebrate Spring!

Come out to celebrate Spring with the Madison Jazz Orchestra this month at the Brink Lounge on April 27.

As we move toward the summer festival season, we take a few moments to toast the MJO in our 30th year.

Stop down for 2 sets of music starting at 7:30 on Thursday April 27.

The Brink Lounge, East Washington at Blount Street, Madison, WI

At the Brink on November 20

We celebrate Thanksgiving and the thanks we have for your our fans who come out to hear the band each month. This one will be a tough one. Winter has blown in like crazy but the jazz will be hot, hot, hot to warm your soul.

We also will raise a glass to our good friend Corky Cain who passed away from cancer on Tuesday, November 18. At some point we all had our brass and reed instruments repaired, fixed up or modified by Corky. He was a regular when we were at Rusty’s on the west side near his home. We will miss his wry sense of humor and his great craftsmanship.

The show starts at 7:30 pm with 2 one hour sets. See you there.

The Brink Tonight!

It’s Trick or Jazz (we prefer jazz) at the Brink Lounge tonight, October 30. We hit at 7:30 pm with the traditional 2 sets until 10 pm.

We’ll feature some Halloween related tunes [Saturday Nite in a Haunted House, Blue Moan, I Dismember You], some birthday tributes [including Clifford Brown since the 30th would have been his 84th birthday] and LOTS of Buddy Rich [Machine, Mexicali Nose and more including the monumental Channel One Suite] featuring Madison’s hardest working musician, Rand Moore on drums.

Madison Jazz Society celebrates 30!

A great time was had by all playing for the 30th anniversary celebration for the Madison Jazz Society. As they kick off the 30th year, the Dixie Sizzlers and the Madison Jazz Orchestra shared the celebration concert.

We look forward to hear more about the next 30 year for the MJS in support of jazz education, jazz concerts and jazz music promotion.

News from the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium

The MJO participated in the first event sponsored and promoted by this new organization at Full Compass last fall. Here is their first e-newsletter. If you are interested in subscribing to this e-newsletter, send an email to Howard Landsman at hlandsman@tds.net.


The following list of events shows that, STARTING TODAY, the next few weeks will be especially active ones for many of the Jazz Consortium’s partners. We hope you’ll find some (if not all) of these to be of interest.

  • Madison Music Collective’s “Jazz on a Sunday” program featuring the great bop alto saxophonist Richie Cole, at the Brink TODAY, 2/10/13, beginning at 3:30 PM, and followed by a free interactive workshop with Richie and his band at 6:00 PM. Discounted advance tickets are available at http://www.thebrinklounge.com/music-events-schedule/.
  • The UW Black Music Ensemble (Richard Davis, Director) gives its first concert of the Spring semester on Thursday, 2/14/13, 8:30 PM, at Morphy Recital Hall in the UW Humanities Building. Free admission.
  • The newly-expanded (3-day) mid-winter Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest, also at the Brink, starting on Valentine’s Day evening and running for 3 days through Saturday evening, 2/16/13. Visit http://midwestgypsyswingfest.com for artist and ticket information.
  • Madison Jazz Society’s 2/24/13 concert by The Original Salty Dogs, one of the world’s foremost traditional jazz bands, 1:00-4:00 PM at the Coliseum Bar. Tickets at the door. http://www.madisonjazz.com/upcoming/
  • The UW Jazz Orchestra and Madison College Community Jazz Ensemble joint concert at UW’s Mills Concert Hall on 2/27 @ 7:30 PM, with trumpeter Russ Johnson (Milwaukee/NYC, Jazz Professor at UW Parkside) as guest soloist with the UWJO. Free admission.
  • The Wisconsin Union Theater welcomes The Bad Plus to The Sett at Union South for a free concert on Sunday, 3/3/13, 8:00 PM. http://www.thebadplus.com/
    Johannes Wallmann’s first UW School of Music Faculty Recital, on Tuesday, 3/5/13, 7:30 PM, at Morphy Recital Hall in the Humanities Building. Free admission.
  • WORT-FM’s Winter on-air fundraising marathon, running from 2/21/13 – 3/6/13.
  • These are in addition to the twice-monthly Madison Jazz Jam sessions that are drawing big crowds to the Fountain at 122 State Street (even this past Super Bowl Sunday!) on the first and third Sundays of each month, 4:00-7:00 PM. The next MJJ sessions are on 2/17/13 and 3/3/13.


    The Jazz Consortium’s next production will be a March 11-14 residency by Maxine Gordon, wife, long-time manager, biographer, and legacy shepherd of the late saxophone giant Dexter Gordon, on the occasion of his 90th birthday. During this milestone year, Maxine will bring her “Dex @ 90” program to Paris, Copenhagen, Sweden, and Switzerland as well as to major cities/venues around the USA including Jazz at Lincoln Center, and it’s a bit of a coup for Madison to be part of her itinerary, http://www.dextergordon.com/dex-at-90/.
    While in Madison, Maxine will deliver a series of programs including free showings of the film “Round Midnight” (for which Dexter received a Best Actor Oscar nomination and Herbie Hancock won for Best Original Score) and her talk about the making of the movie. Also on tap are a special program at Morphy Recital Hall with Johannes Wallman’s students (Blue Note Ensemble), a talk to Richard Davis’ Black Music History class, a full day of sessions with Steve Sveum’s jazz students at Sun Prairie High School, a program with the UW’s PLATO Jazz continuing education class, and a special hour-long segment on WORT-FM on Jane Reynolds and Steve Braunginn’s “Strictly Jazz Sounds” show. Also under development is a special program with the South Madison branch library.

    The Consortium is about to launch a quick and quiet campaign to raise the remaining funds we need to cover the cost of Maxine’s visit to our community. We will be conducting this campaign through the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission’s Power2Give website, which enables u to capture the Commission’s 50% match for every dollar contributed, regardless of the gift amount. Watch for more info about our campaign and the final schedule for Maxine’s programs. For a sneak peek, check out her presentation to the Library of Congress at http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=4888, and her in-depth All About Jazz interview at www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=41600.


    Perhaps the most important activity of the Jazz Consortium’s first year is our upcoming strategic planning work. This work will identify a few high-priority collaborative initiatives that the Consortium partners will undertake in the next year or two to help create a more vibrant and sustainable local jazz scene. As part of the process, we will conduct an online survey and a series of focus groups in early Spring to gain input on the key challenges and opportunities facing our jazz community. Please stay tuned for information on ways that you can have your voice heard. In the meantime, if you have comments you’d like to place in the hopper, simply forward them in a reply to this email.


    The Greater Madison Jazz Consortium is governed by a steering committee of representatives from each member organization. The Steering Committee members are:

  • Steve Braunginn, WORT-FM
  • Laurie Fellenz, Madison Metropolitan School District Fine Arts Office
  • Ben Ferris, Wisconsin Union Theater
  • Bill Goodrich, Madison Jazz Jam
  • Howard Landsman, Madison Music Collective
  • Rand Moore, Madison Jazz Society
  • Gary Poulson, Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest
  • Johannes Wallmann, UW-Madison School of Music

    There’s lots more going on Madison’s jazz scene beyond the Jazz Consortium partners’ events. For up-to-date information on upcoming club dates and special programs, visit the Jazz Calendar on the Madison Jazz Blog, at http://madisonjazz.wordpress.com/.

    The Greater Madison Jazz Consortium is supported by a generous grant from the John and Carolyn Peterson Charitable Foundation. Maxine Gordon’s upcoming visit is made possible in part by contributions from the Madison Jazz Society, Madison Music Collective, UW School of Music, the Sun Prairie High School Band Boosters, and ticket sales from the Consortium’s 11/3/12 Jazz Junction program.

    Dance gig and the Brink Lounge

    We have several gigs this month including a dance!

    Feb 15, 7:30 pm at Blackhawk Church, 9620 Brader Way, Middleton, WI just off of Mineral Point rd, west of the Beltline. We’ll be playing 2 one hour dance sets of mostly swing music. Before we play, there will be dance lessons from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. They have a DJ at our break and continuing until midnight after we are done (10 pm). Admission is only $5 (plus $3 for dance lessons if you choose). Put on your dancing shoes and come out with your sweetheart. More details on the Blackhawk Church web site here

    Feb 28 brings us back to the Brink Lounge for 2 one hour sets of large ensemble jazz music. With February brings the love, romance and cupid theme ideas but there will be some surprises also. No cover but we appreciate the alms for the band in the bucket.

    Thanks goes to you, our audience, who continue to support this great American art form of jazz.

    The Brink Lounge is also up for the Best of Madison award in several categories:

  • Live Music Venue
  • Live Performance Venue
  • Write in for Wine Bar
  • Vote for them here. While you are at the Brink, take some time out and thank Curt, Elizabeth and Matt Brink for their support of live jazz in Madison.

    See you this month!