Gustavus Jazz Home Concert Saturday Posted on April 13th, 2009 by

Gustavus Jazz Lab Band at Eau Claire Jazz Festival

Gustavus Jazz Lab Band at Eau Claire Jazz Festival

Following a 10-day concert tour through the Midwest and an appearance at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival, the Gustavus Adolphus College Jazz Lab Band returns to Gustavus to play a home concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at Jussi Björling Recital Hall.

The Gustavus Jazz Lab Band is directed by Dr. Stephen Wright, a nationally known trumpeter, jazz arranger, and composer. Wright has played lead trumpet for such performers as Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Ray Charles among others and is a member of the Twin Cities Jazz Society, American Composers Forum, International Association of Jazz Educators, and the American Federation of Musicians.

Saturday’s Home Concert includes Thad Jones Basic-Ally Yours, Gordon Goodwin’s Count Bubba, ‘Round Midnight by Thelonius Monk, and Mike Tomaro’s Smoke & Mirrors, along with works by Charles Mingus, Henry Mancini, and Duke Ellington. The performance features compositions by Gustavus composers Rick Orpen, Motor Mouth Shuffle and Steve Wright, Leeward.

The Band’s recent tour included a performance at the Minnesota Music Educators Mid-Winter Conference, Fitzgerald’s Jazz Club in Chicago, the Eau Claire Jazz Festival, and concert performances in Chaska, Eden Prairie, Naperville and Wheaton, Illinois, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and Albany, Minnesota.

The Gustavus Jazz Lab Band is the official touring jazz ensemble from the College’s Department of Music. The band has performed with such jazz artists as Marvin Stamm, Dick Oatts, Frank Mantooth, the Hornheads, John Fedchock, Denis DiBlasio, and Allen Vizzutti. The band was also featured on a 2003 A Prairie Home Companion radio show broadcast live from Gustavus.

The band has performed competitively at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival and has been invited to appear at a variety of venues including the KBEM Jazz Fesitval, the American Swedish Institute, and the Lamberton Jazz Festival.

The importance of music in the Gustavus undergraduate curriculum has long been recognized. Nearly half of its more than 2,500 students register for courses in theory, history, appreciation, pedagogy, and performance of music each year and many are members of some 30 performing ensembles.


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