The Empire Jazz Orchestra is a 19 piece professional jazz ensemble in residence at Schenectady County Community College in upstate New York. Founded in 1992, the EJO is dedicated to the performance of quality ensemble music from all eras of jazz. The orchestra is comprised of many of the capital region's finest professional musicians. The EJO also regularly features major jazz artists as guest soloists (recent guests have included David 'Fathead" Newman, Wycliffe Gordon, Randy Brecker, Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, Nick Brignola, Lew Soloff, Mark Vinci and the Four Freshmen).
Repertoire of the EJO ranges from early works of Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver to the commissioning of new music for the big band. The orchestra is especially noted for it's performances of original scores of such important composers and arrangers as Duke Ellington, Gil Evans, Charles Mingus and Oliver Nelson. The EJO has released three critically acclaimed CDs: "Live & Kicking", "The Empire Jazz Orchestra Plays Ellington" and "Anniversary" and accompanied vocalist Colleen Pratt on her CD "I Thought About You".