2019 is a fabulous year for John Akal and the 21 piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. In it’s 18th full year the band has sailed to new musical heights! The band continues to perform new and exciting music, adding the best contemporary big band charts to its already formidable repertoire of the finest orchestrations ever written for a large jazz ensemble. Linda Theus-Lee continues to add her world class vocal styling and new music to our library.
The band has been featured on 3 recordings from 89.3 KUVO, the Jazz Oasis in the City. The “Live at the Oasis Volume 5” has received critical acclaim as one of the best compilation jazz CDs of 2002, and the band had the honor of being selected as one of the groups on the new “Best of the Oasis Volume 1” CD that features the finest recorded performances over the last 5 years. In addition the band did a 4 full radio shows live at KUVO that were also broadcast live to the entire world via the World Wide Web.
The Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra performs live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at The Venue, located at 1451 Cortez St. in Denver. That's at the intersection of Hwy 36 ( The Boulder Turnpike) and Pecos. Showtime: 7:30-10 P.M. and there is only a $5 cover charge that goes directly to the band.
2016 saw a milestone for the Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra as we combined with the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra for a Summer Concert in Parfet Park.
The past eighteen years also saw the band performing at several jazz festivals and concert venues. The Vail Jazz Festival, Colorado Festival of the Arts, Five Points Jazz Festival, The Longmont Jazz Festival, The Lonetree Arts Center, The Fort Collins Sustainable Living Fair, The Estes Park Jazz Festival, Mesa Music Festival, A Taste of Colorado and The Denver City Park Jazz Festival have all invited us back again to perform in the future.
We also played a joint concert with the one and only jazz legend, Maynard Ferguson and his band. Going head to head with one of the most powerful trumpet players in history was a rewarding experience for the band, especially when he acknowledged us not once, but twice as a force to be reckoned with. That is why Brett Saunders of the Denver Post has labeled us “The Mighty Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra”!
The band is currently booking its concerts and festivals for the 2020 season, and things are starting to fill up fast.
John Akal - Drums/Musical Director
Vocals: Linda Theus-Lee
Rhythm Section: Jeff Fornier-Bass, Bill Morse- Piano/Keyboards. Clint Dadian- Guitar. Jose Espino- Congas/Latin Percussion
Trumpets: Scott Handler, Kevin Bollinger, Dan Johnson, Dave Thomas, Mitch Handelsman
Trombones: Rob Olds, John Hines, Tommy Van Den Berg, Darren McClaury, Steve Gehring
Saxophones: Jeremy Wendelin, Phil "Fly" McClard, Dean Bitner, Steve Williams, Rick Moody
Ultraphonic Members Emeritus
Jace Van Bradt- Bass Trombone
Jerry Noonan- Baritone Saxophone
John Armstrong- Piano/Keyboards
Elise Henderson- Alto and Baritone Saxophone
Bob Warren- Trombone