The Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, the top touring jazz ensemble from Gustavus Adolphus College and one of the Midwest’s finest collegiate jazz ensembles, and Director Steve Wright, well-known Minnesota jazz trumpet player and composer, will travel through South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota on its 2014 Jazz Concert Tour, March 28 – April 5. Including its Home Concert in Björling Recital Hall on Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m., the band’s spring tour will include 7 performances between St. Peter and San Antonio.
For more than 25 years, Steve Wright has directed the trumpet and jazz studies at Gustavus. He has played professionally for over forty years as a freelance musician, composer/arranger and publisher and as leader of his own big band and is a former lead trumpet with the U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note. He is a frequent performer at Orchestra Hall and the Ordway Music Theatre and has made numerous national commercials. In June, Dr. Wright will retire from teaching trumpet and jazz studies at Gustavus. Replacing him in the fall will be jazz composer and trombonist Dave Stamps.
Since 1970, the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band has developed a varied repertoire from traditional big band standards to modern compositions. As its reputation for grown, the Band has received well-deserved attention for musical excellence. It has been invited to compete in the prestigious jazz festivals at Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and has performed live on Garrison Kelihor’s A Prairie Home Companion and festivals sponsored by the Twin Cities Jazz Society and KBEM-FM Jazz Radio.
For this concert tour, Dr. Wright has chosen works that showcase the variety of jazz styles and compositions. The program features standards made popular by Duke Ellington, Freddie Green and Cole Porter, classics from Billy Strayhorn and Sammy Nestico, and works by the finest contemporary jazz composers and performers like Alan Baylock, Thad Jones and Michael Philip Mossman, and includes works by the current and future Gustavus jazz directors, Steve Wright and Dave Stamps.
To see a complete listing of the Jazz Band’s itinerary and concert schedule, please visit the Department of Music’s touring website at: www.gustavus.edu/finearts/touringschedule. All concert are open to the public. Tickets are not required but donations will be accepted at the door.