Gustavus Jazz Lab Band Invited to Perform with Sweden’s Ulf Johansson Werre

Posted on April 12th, 2006 by

The American Swedish Institute is joining this year’s Celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month by featuring the Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra, from Uppsala Sweden (directed by Ulf Johansson Werre), and the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band in concert on Wednesday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Park Center High School. This performance is presented by the Twin Cities Jazz Society, the American Swedish Institute of Minneapolis, and the Uppsala-Minneapolis Sister City Committee. Jazz originated in America and is performed and enjoyed worldwide. It is particularly popular in Sweden. It’s spontaneous, never ordinary, and completely genuine.

Ulf Johansson Werre, one of Europe’s premier jazz trombonists and a superb pianist and vocalist, appeared at the Swedish Institute in 2003 with the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, and wanted to bring his University Jazz Orchestra over to the Twin Cities. Born in Sweden in 1956, Ulf has lived in Uppsala since 1963. He attended the University of Pittsburg in 1979-80, and recorded with the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra at the Village Vanguard in NYC. He taught at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and has performed and recorded with the Swedish Radio Jazz Group, Sandviken Big Band, Uppsala Big Band, Radio Uppland Big Band, Jazz Composers Orchestra, and the European Broadcasting Union Big Band. Ulf performed at Carnegie Hall in 2000 with the Swedish US Jazz Tour. His own band, the Big Band Explosion, has recorded four CD’s. He also has his own trio in Sweden and is the Director of the Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra.

Uppsala, Sweden, located just north of Stockholm, is the fourth largest city in the country, with a population of 180,000. Uppsala University is the oldest in Scandinavia, founded in 1477, with a student body of 42,500. Twenty different Master Programs are taught in English. It is one of the leading research Universities in Europe, and eight alumni have been awarded the Nobel Prize. The University has four choirs, the Jazz Orchestra, many Wind Ensembles, a Rock Band, and is the home of the Royal Academic Orchestra, founded in 1827. The Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra (or Storband) is comprised of students, teachers and alumni of the University, who apply for the class and receive credits. They perform music from the classics of the Big Band Era to music of today, including songs with vocalists.

The Gustavus Jazz Lab Band has just returned from its annual spring concert tour. On the tour, the band presented concerts in Minnesota, Nebraska and Colorado. While in Denver, the band hosted two benefit concerts, three high school jazz clinics, one live broadcast on Denver’s NBC-TV affiliate, KUSA, and a benefit at Denver’s Dazzle Jazz Club. Later this spring, the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band will release its first CD in several years.

In addition to concerts with the University of Minnesota Jazz Ensemble I and the St. Croix Jazz Orchestra, Ulf Johansson Werre and the Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra will perform again this year with the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, under the direction of Steve Wright at Park Center High School on Wednesday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. The performance opens with the Park Center Jazz I and Director John Olson, followed by the collaboration with the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band. The performance (Park Center High School, 7300 Brooklyn Blvd., Brooklyn Park) is free, but contributions toward the Uppsala band’s travel expenses are welcomed.

 

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