Founded in 2015, Gwinnett Symphony Jazz Orchestra (GSJO) is under the direction of Dr. Jose Manuel Garcia. GSJO is comprised of approximately 12 musicians from all walks of life from Gwinnett and the surrounding region. GSJO is made up of primarily volunteer musicians with a few key professional musicians. Members include music faculty from New School of Music, local school music programs and universities, and community musicians. GSJO performs multiple concerts per season and performs repertoire over a wide spectrum of Jazz styles. Membership in GSJO is by audition with the conductor or by invitation. Interested musicians may enquire about membership throughout the year based on chair availability. Please complete the application here. Music Director and Conductor
Gwinnett Symphony Jazz Orchestra
Dr. José Manuel Garcia is a Steinway Artist, award-winning jazz pianist, composer, arranger, orchestrator and music educator, whose musicianship in the classical repertoire has been highly recognized as well as in the jazz and Latin genres.
Prior to joining Gwinnett Symphony Jazz Orchestra, Dr. Garcia served as Assistant Professor of Piano and Theory at Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama. Over the past fifteen years, his work as a music educator, including seven years of college teaching experience at accredited institutions, has been greatly recognized by the students and the schools.
As a jazz pianist, Dr. Garcia has been actively performing in Atlanta and throughout the United States with internationally acclaimed artists, such as Danny Harper, Michael Philipp Mossman, Ray Vega, Bill Summers, Kemba Cofield, Jennifer Holliday, El “Cano” Estremera, Luisito Rosario, Paquito Guzmán, Anthony Cruz, Willie González, Tito Rojas, Marlon Fernández, Oswaldo Román, Darmon Meador, Joe Jennings, Ilona Knopfler. Luisito Carrión, Ignacio Berroa, María Teresa Chacín, Ashley Brown, Shem von Schroeck, and Juan Carlos Salazar.
Dr. Garcia is a founder of International Groove Conspiracy, an Atlanta-based jazz trio which received great reviews by giants in the industry such as pianists Ahmad Jamal and Chucho Valdés. In 2005, the trio´s album Beyond Horizon was released and received great reviews nationally and internationally. The trio also performed at major venues in the nation, including the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the National Black Arts Festival, the Rialto Center for the Arts, Callawolde Fine Arts Center, Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, and the Blue Note in New York City.
Dr. García’s latest CD, Cruz del Ávila, released in December 2010, is a solo piano project, in which Ahmad Jamal describes Dr. García’s pianism as “sensitive and brilliant.”