USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra

The flagship big band of the jazz studies program, the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra (TJO) is at the forefront of modern big band performance, featuring cutting edge music from students and from director Bob Mintzer.

A drummer performs during a USC Thornton jazz concert.


The USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra is one of the most prestigious college big bands in the country. Directed by legendary saxophonist and Yellowjackets member Bob Mintzer, TJO regularly features high-level original big band music and arrangements.

The band also features prominent guest musicians from across the musical spectrum. Past and recent guests include The Yellowjackets, NY voices, Knower, and even the current alumni group Thumpasaurus.

Ensemble Information

The ensemble is directed by jazz studies faculty member Bob Mintzer, a GRAMMY Award-winning big band leader, composer, arranger and longtime member of the Yellowjackets.

Saxophonist Bob Minter in concert.

Bob Mintzer is an internationally celebrated jazz musician and longtime faculty member in the Jazz Studies program at USC Thornton. 

Jazz students perform on electric guitar and vocals surrounded by their bandmates in concert.

The USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra operates under the auspices of the Jazz Studies program, one of the first free-standing jazz studies departments in the nation.

Ensemble Performances

The USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra performs annually at USC.

Jazz students perform on saxophone and double bass at USC Thornton.

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