The Penguin Cafe Orchestra (PCO) was a collective of performing musicians created by classically trained British guitarist, composer and arranger Simon Jeffes. Jeffes and cellist co-founder Helen Liebmann were core members throughout its life and a number of other musicians joined as the band grew and developed, many of whom appear on the PCO's six studio albums.
The Penguin Cafe Orchestra recorded and performed for 24 years until Jeffes died of a brain tumour in 1997. The remaining members of the group briefly reunited for a handful of concerts in 2007.
Simon Jeffes' son, Arthur Jeffes, subsequently founded a distinct successor band called simply Penguin Cafe in 2009, which features no original PCO members. This new ensemble does, however, feature many PCO numbers in its live repertoire, and also records and performs new music written by the younger Jeffes.