Otsego Jazz Ensemble, a Kalamazoo area big band

The OJE will perform anywhere in West Michigan, basically in the greater Kalamazoo area, from Three Rivers to Wayland, and from South Haven to Battle Creek.  But don’t despair!  We’ve performed as far away as Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, so please ask!  The OJE is all about West Michigan big band dancing and West Michigan jazz concerts and events.

OJE Origins

Otsego Jazz Ensemble, a Kalamazoo area big band,  was formed in 1986 by Chuck Lund (bari) and a few other musicians from a local concert band.  Three original members are still with the band today:  Jeff Bourdo (skins), Brian Nichols (bass bone), and Dale Gregg (2nd tenor).   Our gigs have included a large variety of locations and venues, including a number of events over the years at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, pictured here. 

From community events to jazz concerts, wedding receptions to ballroom dancing, we’ve scaled quite a variety of musical mountains. See Who We Are for more details.  The band is currently under the very capable direction of trumpeter Tim Culver. 

For the 2020 season, the band had plans to  perform at two jazz festivals, a handful of jazz concerts, and several dances and fundraisers.  Covid-19 had different plans for all of us.

We look forward to getting back to concert and dance gigs sometime during the 2021 season!

Yes, even after 35 years this band is going as strong as ever, and we continue to diversify the portfolio and style of music we perform, but all still under the great umbrella known as jazz, the pandemic not withstanding.

If your interest is dancing to a live big band in the greater Kalamazoo area (West Michigan) please contact us!  If you’re looking for a live jazz concert venue or or a jazz band to provide entertainment for an event, you know who to call!

Otsego Jazz Ensemble playing for a ballroom dance at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo