The Turner Center Jazz Orchestra (TCJO) is the resident professional ensemble of the Turner Jazz Center at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. A not-for-profit organization, the TCJO is dedicated to high-caliber, professional, authentic performances of American jazz and particularly the music of the big band tradition, including both the historic and the contemporary repertoire of that genre.
The ensemble is an 18-piece big band led by Andrew Classen, Professor of Trumpet in the Department of Music at Drake and the Fred & Patty Turner Professor of Jazz Studies. Members are all highly accomplished professional musicians and include some of the most prominent artists and jazz educators in Iowa, including a number who are members of the Drake University faculty as well as alumni of the Department of Music.
The TCJO through its performances, educational activities and community service projects is committed to the promotion and preservation of this classic American music and in addition to its research and curatorship of the original big band libraries also supports the creation of new works for big band, particularly works composed and arranged by Iowa composers and arrangers.
The Turner Center Jazz Orchestra performs a regular series of concerts at the new Turner Jazz Center on the Drake Campus; a venue acclaimed for providing an exciting, unique and intimate listening experience with state-of-the-art acoustics for both audiences and performers. The TCJO was established concurrently with the opening of the Turner Jazz Center in January 2011.