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The Neophonic Orchestra (also known as the Madison Mellophonium Jazz Orchestra, MMJO,) is one of the most unique groups in the Madison area. Dedicated to bringing the compositions and arrangements of Johnny Richards to the public, we are available for concerts, dances, and clinics.

The Neophonic Orchestra uses the same instrumentation as Stan Kenton’s Mellophonium orchestra, which typically had five trumpets, three trombones, a bass trombone and another bass trombone that doubled on tuba; Saxophones – one alto, two tenors, a baritone and a baritone/bass; Rhythm was the standard piano, bass and drums, with additional percussion added.

The Mellophonium is a three-valve instrument with a tone similar to a French horn with the bell facing forward. The Mellophone section adds a rich musical color and texture to the jazz orchestra.