The Keene Jazz Orchestra was formed in April, 2002 under the direction of Scott Mullett. The intent of the Orchestra is to offer a challenging setting in which local musicians of advanced abilities may study repertoire of big bands past and present. The band hopes to share with our community the big band sound being that it is one of America’s great contributions to world culture. The Keene Jazz Orchestra is made up of local music teachers, students from the local schools, and other area adult musicians. The orchestra continues to provide an outlet for local musicians to hone their jazz abilities and share them with the community.
Scott Mullett (1959-2018), founder of the Keene Jazz Orchestra, was a first-call tenor saxophonist in the greater Boston area. He played and toured with many of the greatest big bands of our time including those of Artie Shaw and Woody Herman. Strongly influenced by his Keene High School band director, Bob Cummings, Scott went on to study jazz saxophone at Berklee College of Music, where he studied with many of the world’s best musicians. He traveled all over the world playing saxophone and made his living in music as a saxophonist and teacher. After serving as Musical Director for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in the 90’s, he came back to the Monadnock Region and continued to play jazz and teach in the Boston and Keene areas.
When Scott Mullett started the Keene Jazz Orchestra in 2003, his goal was to share with his community the music that he loved so dearly, and to create an organization that would continue the uniquely American tradition of jazz music in Keene, the Monadnock Region, and beyond. His sudden passing in 2018 left the band stunned and uncertain of how to proceed; while it was impossibly difficult to imagine our band without our beloved founder and friend, it would have been an insult to Scott’s memory, his dedication to the music, and his love of Keene’s musical community, to not continue playing.
It is with this devotion to Scott’s goal of carrying on the tradition of jazz music in our community that the Keene Jazz Orchestra decided to carry on. At the first rehearsal after Scott’s passing, the musicians in the band nominated bassist Steve Cady, a founding member of the KJO, to be our leader going forward. Steve graciously accepted the position and the work and responsibilities that accompany it.
Often referred to by Scott himself as “The Godfather Of The Band”, Steve was as close to Scott as anyone. His musicianship and personality will help the band and the community to keep the music, and Scott’s memory, alive and thriving. No single individual, nor entire group of people, can ever replace what Scott meant to Keene’s musical family and all those who knew him all across the country and the world. Under Steve Cady’s leadership, the Keene Jazz Orchestra intends to intensely and enthusiastically pursue Scott’s dedication to music performance and education, as he taught us all to do for so many years.
In the fifteen years that he gave to the Keene Jazz Orchestra, Scott imparted his love for jazz to many aspiring music students, teachers, and hobbyists. To honor this legacy, the Keene Jazz Orchestra will continue to share this great American art form with our community.
Please consider making a donation in Scott’s honor to the
Scott Mullett Fund for
You can also donate via mail
by sending a check payable to:
Keene Jazz Orchestra
39 Ridgewood Ave
Keene NH 03431
memo Scott Mullett Fund
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