Orchestre National du Jazz Luxembourg
Founded in 2005, as the brainchild of Gast Waltzing, Professor of Trumpet at the Conservatoire du Luxembourg, and Head of the Jazz Department. Waltzing also has his own Jazz band “Largo” with its second release on Warner Jazz, London.
The Mission of the O.N. J. L., and Gast Waltzing’s concept for the formation is many layered.
First; to provide a platform for the upcoming young jazz musicians in Luxembourg. A place they can use their skills, write for the formation and play with musicians of the same caliber.
The second is to contribute to the renewal of the literature for the Big Band as an art form. Waltzing, who will be the chef of the Orchestra for 3 years, is also the major composer for the formation. The next chef, who will also head the Big Band for 3 years, will also be required to write an original program for the formation. In this manor, a large and varied new original repertoire for the big band will be created.
It should be noted that the formation of this group is unusual in that there are 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, and 2 horns.
The first concert of the O.N.J.L. was for the grand opening of the new Salle de la Grande-Duchesse Josephine-Charlotte, also known simply as the Philharmonie. George Duke was the invited soloist and the concert was a huge success. It also was the beginning of a musical relationship between Waltzing, Duke and the O.N.J.L. and George Duke is one of the soloists on the first CD from the formation, simply titled:
“Orchestra National de Jazz Luxembourg”
featuring George Duke and Didier Lockwood.
In the 2006 season French Violinist Didier Lockwood was guest soloist with the O.N.J.L. and participated in a live recording, one piece of which is included on the Cd released on 23 February 2007 on the WPRjazz. It is comprised of mostly original pieces by Waltzing, but also a composition by Jazz Guitarist David Laborier. The 2nd CD , "Whos afraid of the big bad band" was composed by David Laborier, and the third CD composed by the young vionlinist Jean Jacques Maillet and produced by Gast Waltzing. It was released under the umbressa of the Banque de Luxembourg "Jazz Nights" in 2015.