Jazz Orchestra        Gatsby Big Band          Roaring 20s Swing Band          Jazz Band


The Matt McCallie Orchestra has deep roots in jazz. Most of our musicians have lived and loved jazz music since early childhood. Jazz is a truly indigenous American art form developed in a unique melting pot of cultures. Jazz music reaches beyond the soulful sadness of the blues, tells stories like folk and early country, and like popular music it exalts the joyfulness of life.

Jazz musicians are best known for their ability to improvise like the classical musicians of old. Classical music on keyed instruments is rarely still heard as it was originally performed with improvisation over harmonic progressions notated with Roman Numerals.

Some say a musician who can play jazz can play any style. While this may be an exaggeration in general it is made true by The Matt McCallie Orchestra since we literally do play nearly every popular style of music.

Jazz musicians have incredible skills in interpretation. Their ability to articulate the colorful timbres of a melody with subtle inflections so that each time the head is played it is slightly different and still and interesting is one of the most enjoyable aspects one's ears most readily appreciate.

Types OF Jazz

Jazz has many idioms. Here are just a few examples of the many varieties under the category of jazz.





Big Band

Bossa Nova





Free Improvisation



Hard Bop



Jazz Blues

Jazz Funk

Kansas City







Second Line



Straight Ahead


Twelve Bar Blues


West Coast


The Matt McCallie Orchestra

The Matt McCallie Orchestra is unlike any big band or jazz band in St. Louis. No other local big band has a full time strings section. The reason is simple. Very little printed big band music has parts written for strings. Of the few that do, most merely have a reduced score for a synthesizer, a poor substitute for real string players.

Because we have such talented musicians, our band has written many of its own arrangements of popular jazz standards. While the work involved in creating our own arrangements or transcribing and adding string parts heard in original recordings by artists like Frank Sinatra is a massive endeavor, the fuller sound of The Matt

McCallie Orchestra is well worth the effort.

Most of our arrangements incorporate the traditional 18 piece

big band instrumentation as well as violin, viola, and cello. Some

of our arrangements are written for more than 40 instruments with parts for harp, additional wind instruments, and over a dozen auxiliary percussion parts such as congas, timpani, triangle,

wind chimes, orchestral bells, and other instruments for

a sound that is truly amazing.

Also unique to our band is our full time vocalist. Most St. Louis

big bands hire various guest singers. We are fortunate to have a vocalist who can cover most male and female ranges. And many

of our arrangements are written to feature our singer to bring out

the best of the melodies supported expertly by our orchestra's

skilled and dedicated musicians.

Big Band Vocal Jazz

The Matt McCallie Orchestra big band is the most impressive in

St. Louis. As a jazz orchestra there are none like us in the area

using a full time vocalist, horn section,

rhythm section, and strings section.

Our live sound is like that of internationally touring acts.

The full, orchestral sound of modern jazz vocalists like

Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Bublé, Tony Bennett, and

Diana Krall is much like that of The Matt McCallie Orchestra.

Vocal stylings with our big band music sound most alike Chet Baker, Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole.

Romantic Jazz

The rich sentiments of poetic lyrics, familiar and evocative melodies, and gorgeous harmonic progressions culminates in timeless musical treasures. All of the warmth and beauty of jazz ballads from the American songbook is treated with great respect and care by

The Matt McCallie Orchestra.

Many of the jazz ballads we perform have been arranged

by us exclusively for our orchestra. Some of our arrangements

have over a year of development, being crafted and

honed into musical perfection.

Big Band Instrumental Swing

Our instrumental big band library consists of well over

1,000 songs in both digital and printed archives. We play

many of the same arrangements and stock charts that

most big bands around the world perform.

Most big band music is written for at least an 18 piece instrumentation. It is understandable that not every client can accommodate the size or fees of a band this size. We recommend

at minimum a band of at least 9 musicians to maintain some harmony in the saxophones, trombones, and trumpets

sections in addition to rhythm.

Bigger is better. A discerning ear will hear the difference as

each inner and outer harmony part is added in each section.

The Matt McCallie Orchestra always strives to provide the

best sound possible. Performing with the full instrumentation

of the written music is most desirable.


Most of the jazz performed by The Matt McCallie Orchestra is

made for dancing. Slow or fast there are many types of

dances popular to swing dancing.

Boogie Woogie

East Coast



Lindy Hop

The Charleston

West Coast

Other Dances

Typical of most big bands The Matt McCallie Orchestra plays a variety of feels and tempos. Some of which can include:

Bassa Nova








Roaring Twenties Gatsby Jazz Band

Gatsby themed Roaring 20s parties are very much en vogue this centennial decade. The Matt McCallie Orchestra is the preeminent St Louis big band for entertaining classy and fun events.