The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP) was formed in 2013. Terell Stafford, one of the founding members, with the support of Gary Steuer, Chief Cultural Officer of the Mayor's office at that time, created the long awaited Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia.
JOP recognized the strong jazz history of Philadelphia, home to many leading musicians and its own distinct musical style. JOP was formed to create an opportunity to present Philadelphia Jazz, its history, and its talented musicians in one place and as one program, to continue the rich musical legacy of Philadelphia.
In JOP's continued endeavor to engage youth, JOP has developed workshops, clinics, sectionals, and open rehearsals to work with JOP and guest artists. JOP has invited student groups to open and perform prior to the main performances.
Since 2014, JOP has been a fiscally-sponsored project of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia, a charitable trust providing shared management resources for arts and heritage programs of diverse disciplines and cultural traditions.
JOP’s inaugural gala event in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center included special guests; Bill Cosby, Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Baron, Larry McKenna, Bootsie Barnes, Tony Williams, Randy Brecker and Jimmy Heath. JOP has performed at Dizzy’s in New York City, Longwood Gardens, Berks Jazz Festival, the International Trumpet Guild, Messiah College, and other events. Additional guest artists have included Jimmy Heath, Bootsie Barnes, Larry McKenna and Benny Golson; Ben Schachter and George Garzone; Elio Villafranca, Miguel Valdes, and Jon Faddis; Jean Baylor, Carla Cook, and Joanna Pascale; Eric Reed and Orrin Evans; and Freddy Cole.
JOP orchestra members are all accomplished musicians and educators with ties to Philadelphia.