OJE Style and all that Jazz
The 17-piece jazz band, based in Otsego, has been together for more than 35 years. The OJE, as it’s affectionately known by fans, plays music from the big band era including Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and Count Basie as well as more modern big band jazz arrangements that cover many styles of music like rock, pop and jazz.
Being a traditional big band of five saxes, four trombones, four trumpets and a rhythm section, the band also has vocalists who perform the music of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Diane Schurr and Michael Buble’.
The Band led by Creative Director Tim Culver, trumpeter and saxophonist who has co-led the Kalamazoo Big Band for more than 33 years, and plays in the Gull Lake Jazz Orchestra and Lew Boyd Band. Culver joined the OJE trumpet section about 17 years ago. He says its a hard working group.
“Everybody in OJE takes the music seriously and we all really give it a lot of time and effort. As audiences change, it’s a challenge for the band to change and adapt. We play all dance styles for the ballroom dancers. We’re also adding rock and pop arrangements. The music of groups like Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, Pat Metheny and Tower of Power are all a great fit for a band like ours. We love to put a lot of variety in our concerts.”