Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra


Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra photo by Jim Levitt

Tuesday, December 13, 7pm
The Royal Room
5000 Rainier Avenue S


The Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO) will be at The Royal Room on December 13 performing holiday classics along with jazz composed by women artists. The group is a big band orchestra performing a variety of genres of jazz, including Latin and Brazilian, as well as contemporary music from both local and international arrangers and composers. The modern music includes contributions from Jill Townsend, Hazel Leach, Ann Reynolds, Nelda Swiggett, Leigh Pilzer, Jessie Smith, Christine Jensen, Jihye Lee, and Patty Darling,  many of whom have been performing for over 25 years. 

Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging women and girls to become involved in jazz, both as performing artists as well as composers. SWOJO co-founders Barbara Hubers-Drake and Ellen Finn founded the group in 2000 hoping to foster more women to consider jazz as either a career or a vocation. The group has performed on two continents, locally including Earshot Jazz, The Triple Door main stage, Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, and Bumbershoot; and in South America, SWOJO performed at the Festival Jazz en Lima (in Peru). The group also sponsors a Girls Jazz Band and a Compositions Contest. The contest is open to all women composers and is sponsored by the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, and The Women’s University Club Foundation. Over eight weeks, the Orchestra’s after-school program, Girls Jazz Band, mentors middle school-aged girls, training in improvised jazz. 

Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra are Alex Worland (alto), Lori Shephard (alto), Cynthia Mullis (tenor), Jenny Ziefel (tenor), Ann Babb-Nordling (baritone) on saxophones; trumpeters Marge Rosen, Robin Stangland, Debbie Meyer Snook, and Amanda Marquis; pianist Lillian Wu; and Robyn Weber, Beth Yip, and Carolyn Caster on trombones. Bass trombone player Robyn Weber, is also SWOJO’s Executive Director and has served in this role since 2019. Their 2007 album Meeting of the Water, was recorded in a live concert and released on OA2 Records.

For their holiday concert they will be joined by vocalist Jean Lenke. Lenke is a Seattle-based singer whose album Restless! was self-released in 2019. She is also a composer, lyricist, and bandleader. In 2023, her album The Sea and the Sky will be released. 

Stay up to date with this dynamic group and upcoming shows at swojo.org. Tickets for the December 13 show on sale now at theroyalroomseattle.com.


Posted on

November 30, 2022