OMJB has entertained audiences across the Chicagoland area for Decades
The roots of the OMJB stretch back to 1960, when founder Jay Lipe started a rehearsal band of 7 or 8 musicians. The other long-time member, Horty Kellogg joined the band in 1963. The band's current leader, Doug Fox, has been with the band since 1973.
Jay wrote big band tunes and arrangements for the band. His first was called "Monday Night," in honor of the band's bimonthly rehearsals on Monday evenings. One of the band's first public appearances was for the Northwestern University Faculty Holiday Party in 1973. Since then, the band has performed across the Chicagoland and Northern Illinois region. The band has played at Navy Pier, The Goodman Theater, and Buntrock Hall in the CSO Symphony Center.
Jay Lipe (1930-2022)
Jay Anthony Lipe was born in 1930 in Rockford, Illinois, son of Gladys Baxter Ross, the family farmed 1000 acres in New Milford. Jay attended Walker Elementary School and Rockford West High School. Those roots, along with many friendships that began in kindergarten, were important parts of Jay's character. His late sister was Nancy Amphoux of Bristol, England. Jay graduated from Univ of Chicago in two years and went on to the University of Virginia Law School. While at UVA, he was a founder of the Alpha chapter of Sigma Phi. After serving in the US Army, he began his 50-plus years at the law firm which eventually came to be known as Dykema. Jay began his practice in environmental law and eventually came to practice corporate law for major companies worldwide. He retired at the young age of 80. A major love of Jay's life was his 55 years leading The Jay Lipe Old Men's Jazz Band, an 18-piece swing band, in which he also played the trumpet. With Jay as their conductor, the OMJB played his inspired arrangements. The OMJB was and remains a band of the best of its kind.