Orchestra Jazz della Sardegna

Photo by Agostino Mela (2008)    

The Orchestra started in 1989 as "Blue Note Orchestra". Since 1996 the staff has changed its name, and it is now called Orchestra Jazz della Sardegna. 




This is made of 19 musicians divided into the traditional categories for jazz orchestra (reeds, brass, rhythm sections). The setting also benefits from additional instrumental sections  such as strings, woodwinds, flutes etc. according to what required by music writings. 


In many years of its activity the Orchestra has put together a rich repertoire, mainly made of the most representative jazz takings of the '20s to date including swing evergreens, fusion, popular italian, ethnic music (especially from Sardinia) and original productions.

Since 1991 the Orchestra is the central actor of the International Competition in Composition and Arrangement for Jazz Orchestra called “Scrivere in Jazz”: with its
nine editions (1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012), the competitors enriched the repertory of the Orchestra with more than 400 original scores. 

Special and original projects


"Seven steps about Carmen" (1994, with Enrico Rava),  "Ulisse e l'ombra" (1999) and "Steamboat Bill Jr." (2002) composed and conducted by Bruno Tommaso. With the addition of other instrumental sections, the Orchestra performed "Incontro con la musica colta" (1996-97 with Riccardo Zegna and Paolo Ravaglia, conductor Giancarlo Gazzani) playing classical concerts like G.Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue", Stravinsky’s "Ebony Concert" or "Derivations for clarinet and band" by M.Gould.

Other current projects are:

  • "Il brutto anatroccolo", original composition by Giorgio Gaslini commissioned by "Time in Jazz 1997" festival (with vocalist Maria Pia De Vito)

  • "Porgy and Bess" by G.Gershwin in the famous taking by Gil Evans and Miles Davis. This version has been recorded by the orchestra, featuring the soloists Paolo Fresu and David Linx  (Il Manifesto, 2001, ADR 2005).

  • "Sacred Concert", composed and directed by Giorgio Gaslini, and "Jazz Te Deum", by G.Gaslini, B.Tommaso e G.Verdinelli (published on cd by Soul Note in year 2002).

  • "Time's Mirror" - Orchestra Jazz della Sardegna has also hosted the trumpet player Tom Harrell and his first european performing of his recording "Time's Mirror"

  • "OJS plays Colin Towns” e "Summer songs" - Since 2003 the orchestra regulary hosts the British composer and conductor Colin Towns. The first project, named "OJS plays Colin Towns" has been recorded and is going to be soon released on compact disc. (with guest vocalist Maria Pia De Vito)


  • "Dinner Music" music composed, arranged and directed by da Carla Bley (original co-production by Ass. Blue Note Orchestra, Ass. Time in Jazz, Ente Musicale di Nuoro). Special guests: Carla Bley, Steve Swallow and Andy Sheppard.

  • "El barbaro del ritmo" homage to Cuban composer Benny Morè - Arrangements and direction by Giovanni Agostino Frassetto

  • "Omaggio a Duke Ellington" -  Original charts of "Nutcracker" and "Peer Gynt" suites by Ellingotn/Strayhorn - Conductor Mario Raja

Visit Jazz-Op for the complete list and details


TFoto Roberto Cifarellihe Orchestra has a portfolio of several concerts and has featured in important festivals such as Time in Jazz (Berchidda 1991, 1997, 1998, 2006), Verona Jazz (2007), Rassegna di Orchestre (Campobasso 1994), Fiera della Musica (Ferrara 1995),  Ai confini tra Sardegna e Jazz (Sant'Anna Arresi 1996),  Note meno note (Corropoli 1998), Bergamo Jazz (1998), Roma Dolce Vita Jazz e festival FAO (2001 e 2002), Milano (2002), Vicenza (2006), Estiamo in piazza (Ozieri 1991), Seminari Jazz di Nuoro (1992, 1994, 2000, 2006), La Notte dei Poeti (Nora, 2002), S.Teodoro (2004), Musica sulle Bocche (S.Teresa 2004), Fiesole (2009)  etc.
The Orchestra Jazz della Sardegna has also performed its music in China in year 2001 (it has been the first Italian jazz orchestra to tour this country) and in Spain during summer 2004, performing also in Valencia Jazz festival.



Special guests of the orchestra have been the conductors Carla Bley, Colin Towns, Giorgio Gaslini, Giancarlo  Gazzani, Bruno Tommaso, Mario Raja and Paolo Silvestri, Maria Pia De Vito, Norma Winstone, Barbara Casini, David Linx and Gegè Telesforo as singers, the trumpet players Tom Harrell, Flavio Boltro, Paolo Fresu, Enrico Rava, the saxophone players Bob Mintzer, Andy Sheppard, Perico Sambeat, Maurizio Giammarco and Javier Girotto, clarinetist Paolo Ravaglia, guitarist Nguen Le, bass player Steve Swallow, pianist Riccardo Zegna, accordion players Antonello Salis and Richard Galliano, besides Emilo Soana, Mike Applebaum, Giovanni Amato, Mauro Grossi, Mario and Claudio Corvini and many others. 


OJS is one of the very few Italian orchestras working on a permanent basis and in its staff there are amongst the best sardinian musicians. Some of the work carried out by the orchestra in the last few years of activity is recorded in their compact disc: "Scrivere In Jazz" (by Flex Record Studios, edited in June 1996),  “Porgy and Bess” by G.Gershwin with Paolo Fresu and David Linx (released in june 2001 by Il Manifesto and re-released in 2005 by MPR Records), "Sacred Concert - Jazz Te Deum" by Giorgio Gaslini (Soul Note, 2002), "Blau" (Wide Sound 2004) and "Il Brutto Anatroccolo" (Il Manifesto, 2005). "Agora tà" with Barbara Casini and Paolo Silvestri (Via Veneto, 2012). Other recordings will be soon released.