The NATO Jazz Orchestra is the premiere jazz ensemble of the SHAPE International Band. Featuring a flexible instrumentation of 13-17 musicians, NJO performs classic American big band jazz from Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, & Count Basie as well as more contemporary material from The Mingus Big Band, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, & Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. The ensemble also performs custom vocal arrangements of American and French pop songs from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and Johnny Hallyday. Featuring saxophone, trumpet, trombone, full rhythm section, and a vocalist, NJO is the complete jazz package for any large scale festival, concert series, or special event
Dating back to the band's inception in 1983, NJO has performed for heads of state, senior NATO & EU military leaders, service members & civilians all across Europe for some of the most iconic events and festivals of the last 20 years. Examples of recent performances include:
- performance for the United States Mission to the European Union's (USEU) American Independence Day Celebration opening for world-reknowned comedian Jay Leno at AutoWorld in Brussels, Belgium
- featured guest performances at the Wigan International Jazz Festival in Wigan, U.K., Lier Jazz Festival in Lier, Belgium, & Tournai Jazz Festival in Tournai, Belgium
- selected to perform for the Prince and Princess of Chimay at the Chimay Summer Concert Series in Chimay, Belgium
- NJO has also performed at major international music festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, Leiden Blues & Jazz Week, the Brussels Jazz Marathon, Aix Jazz Festival, JaazKaar in Estonia, The Cork Jazz Festival, and the Bansko International Jazz Festival
As the official big band of NATO, the ensemble regularly tours and performances throughout Europe including recent performances in Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.