About Us

Started in 1974, the Moonlight Jazz Orchestra is an 18-piece big band which originated out of Rockford, Illinois. Performing throughout the stateline area, the band can be seen at public festivals and concerts, as well as private parties including wedding receptions, anniversary celebrations and community fundraisers.

The Band

The group consists of full horn and rhythm sections, with songs featuring soloists and vocalists. From big band swing to the Blues Brothers, oldies rock ‘n’ roll to beautiful ballads, Elvis to the B-52’s to Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, this is the ultimate dance band. Directed by Kent Ecklor, Moonlight Jazz combines a quality musical performance with great showmanship . . .  and a dash of comic relief.

Moonlight Jazz Orchestra is the winner of 9 RAMI (Rockford Area Music Industry) awards including recognition for Community Service and the Lifetime Achievement Award presented in 2001. MJO was voted “Best Concert” at “On the Waterfront”, Illinois’ largest music festival, in 2001 by readers of the Rockford Register Star, and continues to rock the Jazz Stage every Labor Day weekend. Over their 35 years of entertaining audiences of all kinds, Moonlight Jazz has played at hundreds of venues from backyard parties to downtown Chicago galas. They have also been the backup band for groups including The Temptations and The Four Freshmen. 

MJO has recorded two cd’s. First, to commemorate their 25th anniversary in 1999, they recorded “Live at 25”. In 2005, they released their 2nd cd, which was digitally-recorded, entitled “Good Request . . . But We’re Gonna Play Anyhow”.

With literally hundreds of performances in their 35 year history, Moonlight Jazz is known to be “the life of the party” for their customers and audiences. This “hometown big band” is the perfect choice for top notch musical entertainment. 

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