Our season opener was a fabulous hit! Audrey Ochoa dazzled the audience with her trombone playing, singing and compositions. The Jazz Orchestra started with a swinging arrangement before bringing out Audrey for the rest of the concert. This young dynamo effortlessly flipped between a strong and powerful sound on Latin tunes to a smooth, lyrical sound on ballads. Her compositions showcased the many styles she loves to play from swing to latin to ska to ballads with lush and lyrical melodies. She possesses an incredible range on the trombone from booming low notes to intense heights and her improvised solos stood out as well-crafted and thematic. Audrey kept the audience engaged in between pieces with hilarious introductions showcasing how her compositions were inspired, like her homage to Beyonce with “Ms. Latrassi,” inspired by a pandemic-induced Twitter conspiracy theory, to “Swamp Castles” when she was mad at her twin sister for moving an hour away from her. If you were there then you know what we mean. The show was trombone heavy, at times featuring every trombonist on stage trading solos with Audrey to a duet with this concert’s co-ordinator Joel Green. Then she sang a few songs and absolutely floored the audience with an amazing voice. Where did she get the energy to put on such a marvelous show after working at Tempo (The Manitoba Music Educators’ Association conference) on Friday and working with students at the WJO Big Band Workshops on Saturday!? All in all, The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra had an incredible time showcasing the many talents of Audrey Ochoa and we look forward to the next show in our season: Kwassa Kwassa: Music and Dance of the Congo on November 11th, 2023 at 7:30pm, Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain.
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra
The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra (WJO) is Canada’s first community-based, non-profit professional jazz orchestra. Founded in 1997 (registered charity in 2000), the WJO has matured to become an important part of Winnipeg’s cultural landscape, reflected in the ongoing support the organization receives from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, the Winnipeg Foundation, and other sponsors. The mandate of the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra is to be an instrumental force in the promotion and development of big band jazz in Manitoba and beyond, through performance, composition, recording and education.