The “living guru of big band drumming” (Modern Drummer) joins the CCM Jazz Orchestra for a special concert featuring hits from the Stan Kenton Orchestra.

The “living guru of big band drumming” (Modern Drummer) joins the CCM Jazz Orchestra for a special concert featuring hits from the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Tickets available through the CCM Box Office.

Cincinnati legend John Von Ohlen joins the CCM Jazz Orchestra, led by Scott Belck, for a special, one-night-only concert at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. The concert is the first installment in CCM’s 2017-2018 Prestige Event Series.

Von Ohlen, an adjunct instructor of jazz drums at CCM, is famous for his hard swinging and groundbreaking work with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and Woody Herman. Now at age 76, he has been playing music professionally since he was in his twenties.

He started off playing trombone and piano, but he hung up his trombone in favor of the drum set very early on in his career. Affectionately known as The Baron, Von Ohlen has recorded numerous albums and has appeared on tour with Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney and many others. Von Ohlen has led Cincinnati’s Blue Wisp Big Band since 1976.

The drum master has been described as a cool, catalyzing force behind the bands he performs with.

“It didn’t seem as if he was doing much, but the band was on fire,” wrote Modern Drummer’s Paul Francis, describing the first time he saw Von Ohlen in concert.

“The way he played and supported the band, there was no way the group couldn’t swing. The Baron, as Stan Kenton dubbed Von Ohlen, is a musical guru.”

The concert features Von Ohlen’s favorite hits from the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Kenton was a pianist who began forming his own big bands and jazz orchestras in 1940s and arguably reached his peak popularity in the 1950s. In the 1960s, Kenton reformed his band and explored different styles, which led to two Grammy Awards for the orchestra. Kenton died in 1979, leaving behind a decades-long legacy of popular, award-winning records and a pantheon of successful musicians who had spent time in his bands.

General admission tickets to Kenton with John Von Ohlen on Nov. 1 are $20, while non-UC students can get tickets for $15 each. UC student tickets are free and available beginning Oct. 30.

Performance Time
8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1

Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village,
University of Cincinnati

Tickets for Kenton with John Von Ohlen are $20 general admission, $15 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID.

Single tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online through our e-Box Office! Visit for CCM Box Office hours and location.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation


Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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