USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra

Two USC Thornton students in black concert attire play the saxophone and trumpet onstage.
USC Thornton students in various attire perform the brass onstage.

The flagship ensemble of the jazz studies program, the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra (TJO) concentrates on the style of the classic big bands. Led by Bob Mintzer, the TJO has won the Top College Big Band category at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival more than once, performed on a main stage at the Monterey Jazz Festival and won DownBeat’s Student Music Awards for Large Jazz Ensemble, among many other accolades. 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. TJO alumni have gone on to perform as members of elite combos, studio bands and big bands led by internationally acclaimed artists and faculty.