The Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (CCJO) is dedicated to performing, preserving, and teaching Jazz as a living art form. Its members are some of the preeminent Jazz artists and educators in the nation, all of whom have deep ties to the greater Cincinnati music education community.

As educators, nearly all of the ensemble members serve on the music faculties of prominent university music schools, including: Miami University, Northern Kentucky University, Butler University, the University of Dayton and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. The CCJO is led by trumpeter and educator Eric Lechliter. Dr. Scott Belck, professor and department head at The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), serves as ensemble artistic advisor.

The CCJO believes in the power of music to transform lives for the better and seeks to bring the beauty and elegance of Jazz to students and audiences alike. To learn more about how you can help the CCJO transform the lives of children in the Greater Cincinnati community through informative and engaging jazz education programs with the CCJO, please contact our education leader Zachary Granger at



CCJO takes its educational mission seriously, believing that the most effective way to
nourish and perpetuate the jazz tradition is to encourage and promote young jazz
musicians. It accomplishes this with two complementary aspects of the CHOPS! Workshop program (Collaborative Honing of Performance Skills):

1. The CCJO invites a local junior and high school jazz band to share the
stage at each CCJO performance at The Redmoor. After an introduction by a CCJO
officer, the student group presents a half-hour program of their own to a dedicated
jazz audience in a professional venue. The students are then encouraged to join the
audience to enjoy the CCJO show. This has been a tremendous opportunity to
motivate and educate youngsters in the art of jazz performance, especially since this
is often the only opportunity these young musicians have to perform in a setting
other than in a school auditorium or gymnasium for their classmates and parents.
Further, many of these students have not experienced the excitement of viewing a
live, professional jazz big band.

2. As an integral part of this shared performance arrangement, each participating
school receives the opportunity to obtain a personal jazz lesson or workshop
presented by one or more professional CCJO musicians.

Are you interested in having CHOPS! Workshop out at your school or performing as an opening band at an upcoming CCJO Redmoor concert? Contact Zachary Granger at



The CCJO is partnering with Jazz at Lincoln Center to offer a series of in-school and community-based educational presentations in greater Cincinnati: Let Freedom Swing!


Let Freedom Swing! programs explore the relationship between jazz and democracy, and create conversations about the parallels between these two great American traditions. The topics include:

  • Let Freedom Swing (an overview focusing on Jazz and Democracy)

  • Jazz and Civil Rights

  • Jazz and the Harlem Renaissance

  • Jazz and Communication (designed by CCJO educators)


CCJO members are presenting a series of in-school interactive performances/programs focusing on schools or areas of town where students have limited access to arts and music programming and education.

Are you interested in having LFS! out to your school or community center? Contact Zachary Granger at


Below is a link to the individual session curricula for our Let Freedom Swing! programs, including the CCJO-designed Jazz and Communication session.

Let Freedom Swing! Session Curricula


Let Freedom Swing! meets 22 National and State Social Studies and Music Education standards.

Let Freedom Swing! Educational Standards


Teachers and Educators: We look forward to working with you for Let Freedom Swing! For more information and classroom resources for your sessions with the CCJO, check out the Lincoln Center website at

Audio/video study guides have been provided free of charge, courtesy of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s educational program.

Also, check back for additional classrooms resources and learning tools from our session leaders!


Teachers/Educators and Community Group Leaders: Please find copies of our pre- and post- Let Freedom Swing! program surveys for both you and your students/group members. Please feel free to download these and fill them out. Completed surveys can be either handed to your Let Freedom Swing! educator or scanned and emailed to CCJO education chair Zachary Granger at

For In-School Programs

Let Freedom Swing PreSurvey Teacher

Let Freedom Swing PostSurvey Teacher

Let Freedom Swing PreSurvey Student

Let Freedom Swing PostSurvey Student


For Community/Church Programs

Let Freedom Swing PreSurvey Group Leader

Let Freedom Swing PostSurvey Group Leader

Let Freedom Swing PreSurvey Student-Group Member

Let Freedom Swing PostSurvey Student-Group Member

P.O. Box 428798 Cincinnati OH 45242

©2018 by Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.