Founded in 2005, the ONJL came together to provide a platform for the upcoming talented jazz musicians to hone their skills, write for the formation and play with musicians of the same caliber.
The ONJL has had the pleasure to collaborate with George Duke and Didier Lockwood, a working relationship which led to both artists featuring as soloists on the jazz ensemble’s debut album released in 2007 on WPR Jazz. All compositions were written by Gast Waltzing. That same year the ONJL toured through Europe, performing alongside Grammy-Award winner Paquito d’Rivera.
The ONJL looks to contribute to the renewal of the literature for the Big Band as an art form, each member of the band is encouraged to write for the band and the ensemble actively seeks outside contributors and collaborations. In this manner, a large and varied new original repertoire for large jazz ensemble is created.
In 2010 the ONJL released its second album Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Band. Guitarist and composer Laborier takes charge of the orchestra as of the new album, introducing a new program of original compositions. “Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Band” was released with great success erlier in 2011. For this special occasion, the ONJL invited German Jazz musician and comedian Helge Schneider as special guest.
Since, the ONJL performed twice with Grammy and Tony-Award winning Jazz Diva Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Festival International Echternach in Luxembourg and has had the opportunity of working with Viktoria Tolstoy, Patti Austin and Richard Bona (whose music is arranged for Big Band by Gast Waltzing and David Laborier).
2016 sees the release of the latest 2 records of the orchestra. In line with the original concept of the Orchestre National de Jazz Luxembourg, then 16 year-young violin prodigy Jean-Jacques Mailliet releases his debut album of original material alongside the ONJL, produced by Gast Waltzing, and featuring horn arrangements by Gast Waltzing and David Laborier.
That same year, D'Pierle Vum Da, a collection of new arrangements by David Laborier and Jean-Jacques Mailliet, features some of the most well-known pieces of the luxembourgish folk song catalogue.