Begun in 1996, this organization was created by musical director, Dave Sporny. The AJO is a professional big band whose mission is to explore and preserve the music of America's original art form. The membership includes the finest jazz musicians in the area. The group has had distinguished guest conductors such as Gunther Schuller, Herb Pomeroy, David Berger and Andrew Homzey. The AJO was in residence at the Amherst College Duke Ellington Symposium. The music presented, from rare and historical big band works to some of the newest original music for contemporary jazz orchestra, makes the Amherst Jazz Orchestra a unique ensemble.