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Thank you for your support of The ShamRock Jazz Orchestra. The SJO is comprised mostly of former classmates and alumni of East Detroit High School Jazz Band members. The Orchestra currently has 18 active members and features guest musicians and vocalists at various times. Our story is rich with nostalgia and history as many of us went to school together for 18+ years in the East Detroit School District.

​Now, decades later we are reunited and feature some of the best musicians in the State of Michigan. We also feature players who had put their instruments away to work careers and raise families. Some hadn’t played their instrument in over 25 years! So, we had to travel back in time to the days of our youth and re-learn our instruments all over again. Regardless, all of us are the beneficiaries of excellent musical training and generous music programs starting in our early childhood. This musical experience and training was the result of East Detroit School District’s well-funded music programs. We were so fortunate to have participated in them and learn from incredible, caring and committed band directors starting in grade school all the way through EDHS. Below are the names of some of the music faculty that gave us our start when we were children:

Mr. John Gross, Mr. Emile Morrow, Mr. Bob Lepley, Mr. Mike Skrzynski, Mr. Ron Magnuson, Mr. Sid Blair, Mr. Jim Ohrt and Mr. Al Marco.

 

The SJO wishes to salute these dedicated musical instructors and thank them for their influence and the motivation they instilled in us as very young musicians. Not only were they well-liked and respected, but they were very good at their craft. During their tenure, East Detroit School’s bands won dozens of awards and championships in local, state and national competitions!

The Orchestra was founded by Dave Sell (class of 79) in October, 2021 along with Chris Michaels (80), Randy Jordan (81), Bob Maggetti (79) and Greg ‘Boots’ Milewski (80). Our goal is to entertain our friends, families, alumni and followers by playing great classic hits from different eras. The best classic rock, big band, jazz, swing, Motown and contemporary hits like only the SJO can do! We even have our own versions and medleys of songs by The Beatles, Steely Dan and Led Zeppelin!

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