A LITTLE HISTORY
The Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra was formed in January of 2016, and since September of that year has operated under the leadership of Sammuel Murry-Hawkins. The founding members of the group recognized the lack of fully orchestrated traditional dance bands in the Pacific Northwest focusing on the sweet and hot music of the 1920s and '30s.
With several thousand charts in their collective collection, the orchestra is creating a repertoire that reflects some of the most familiar music from the era, as well as lost gems that shall sparkle once more.
The instrumentation for The Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra is a perfect representation of the lush hotel bands of a forgotten era. With tuba, banjo, reed trio, trombone, 2 cornets, percussion, and piano, the orchestra is the only of its kind in the Portland Metropolitan area. Our male vocalists, The Tritone Trio, complete the illusion of an era of elegance past.
Our name is derived from the Latin phrase "Ne Plus Ultra," translated as "no more beyond," or more colloquially, "above all else." The phrase was adopted by instrument artisans in the early decades of the twentieth century to represent their top of the line models.