The Big Time Jazz Orchestra calls Duluth, MN its home base and is made up of the finest big band jazz musicians in the northland. This includes collegiate and school instrumental music instructors as well as former military band musicians. The ensemble programs selections from such jazz masters as Thad Jones, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Miles Davis, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Jim McNeely, Maria Schneider, Bob Brookmeyer, and Gordon Goodwin as well as doing works of its own ensemble members and other local composers and arrangers.
BTJO is dedicated to the continuation of the art form. Part of the mission of the band is to educate youth about this uniquely American contribution to the world known as jazz. Big Time annually does shared concerts with a local school and/or university band, often finishing with a song performed jointly. Some of the more notable performances for BTJO have been its selection to play for the MN Music Educators Conventions in 1994 and 2001 and for the 50th anniversary convention of the American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA) in 2002.