The Lights Shine Bright on The Jackal Orchestra
Deep within the walls of the recording studio, five boys came together to change the future of “boy bands” forever. Lukas Jaeger on electric violin, Brandon Borth on a multitude of saxophones, Jon Zyga on piano and lead vocals, Garrett Waite on bass, and Jeremy Reutebuch on percussion, The Jackal Orchestra rooted itself in a Jazz combo started by Mr. Weiss. Inspiration struck, and Waite came up with the idea to branch off and start their own group, and thus, The Jackal Orchestra was born. The group is like no one you’ve heard before. Their first appearance was at Taste of New Orleans, and they’ve been building up their name ever since, including a second place win at the 2015 Variety Show.
What’s in the name? A few group members originally liked the name The Jackals, but many other groups have claimed that name. Garrett Waite liked any band that ended with the word orchestra, (his favorite groups being The Electric Light Orchestra, Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, etc,) thus, they combined both ideas, came up with The Jackal Orchestra, and the name stuck. The Jackal Orchestra has played all sorts of styles, from Reggae, to Prague Rock, to Jazz. They identify themselves as Jazz Fusion.
The band typically only plays covers and their own arrangements of songs, one of their favorites being Mr. Weiss’s arrangement of “My Funny Valentine.” Lukas Jaeger was one of the members who took time to answer a few of our questions. “Mr. Weiss's arrangement of "My Funny Valentine" really spoke to us and we were able to put our own twist on it which made it ideal for us.”
According to Jaeger, a few members are working on some original work, so they can branch out and become their own entity. “We want to find a new sound and style that's our own, something unique. We haven't found it yet, but we’re searching.”
Although we’re all excited to see what style The Jackal Orchestra finds, Brandon Borth and Jon Zyga are graduating. Waite is sad to see them go, but he looks optimistically to the future. “I'm really excited to see what the future holds for the Jackal Orchestra. It's sad that we're losing Jon and Brandon next year, but I like the idea of our band having a fluid lineup, since that gives us opportunity to change and develop.” The group is hopeful that Borth and Zyga will come back and jam again, but they are excited to see them move on, and to see the group grow.
There’s a lot of potential for The Jackal Orchestra, and the group members are just as excited to see where it goes as we are. “We don't really care about our image. We want to be seen as we are. A bunch of friends who love jamming out and making music together.”
Abigail Blue and Lauren Gennerman