Gustavus Jazz Ensemble Launches Spring Break Tour

Posted on March 16th, 2022 by

The Gustavus Jazz Ensemble is touring Minnesota from March 19-25.

The Gustavus Jazz Ensemble embarks on its Spring Break tour on Saturday, March 19. The ensemble will tour Minnesota, playing at Jazz clubs and working with high schools across the state. A complete list of tour stops is below.

The tour will feature a wide range of music by legends the likes of Benny Carter, Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins, Hoagy Carmichael, Benny Golson, and Pat Metheny as well as up and comers Courtney Wright and David von Kampen. This year’s individual tour concert programs will be curated by the ensemble’s music education majors and will prominently showcase senior vocalist Anya Menk ’22.

Starting off with a fundraiser in the Twin Cities, the tour will kick off at Crooners Supper Club in Minneapolis. Mike and Donna Wolsted, long-time supporters of jazz in Minnesota, are sponsoring the event.

After that, the ensemble will spend the week working with middle schools and high schools across the state. For some of the schools, the ensemble will spend the whole day doing mini-performances for different groups, providing group/individual lessons and masterclasses, or doing side by side rehearsals. At other schools, they’ll show up in the afternoon for a combined rehearsal with their high school jazz band and then perform a concert that night.  Each high school visit will include a concert that evening that is free and open to the public. The Jazz Ensemble will be working with a few alumni of the Gustavus Jazz program as part of the tour. They’ll work with Jonathan Grimsby ’06 at Duluth East and Andy Deluca ’19 in Monticello.

The tour will conclude with a performance at another jazz club in the cities, Jazz Central Studios. The following week, the Gustavus Jazz Ensemble and Adolphus Jazz Ensemble will perform together at a home concert in Jussi Björling Recital Hall at Gustavus. 

Music Tours Manager Coleden Wedge ’20 says that he is excited for the students to get out and perform. “All of these students, especially the seniors, have missed out on so much these past few years that we just want to give them a chance to go and perform for as many people as possible,” he said.

“Speaking as an alum of the music department, some of my favorite memories on tours are from the moments where we had a free morning in a city before going to a workshop or hanging out in a high school auditorium waiting for the next group to come in.  It’s all those little ‘in between’ moments that can really make a tour special,” said Wedge.

The Gustavus jazz program celebrates over a 50-year history of excellence. The Gustavus Jazz Ensemble, formerly known as the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band and Gustavus Stage Band, has performed regionally at the MMEA Mid-Winter Clinic and onstage at Prairie Home Companion, released several acclaimed recordings, and participated at the Elmhurst and Eau Claire Jazz Festivals (Collegiate Big Band category winner at Eau Claire in 2015), in addition to touring extensively throughout the United States. The ensemble has also performed internationally, touring with the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra to Greece and Macedonia in 2016 and Malaysia and Singapore in 2020.

Tickets to the performances at Crooners Supper Club and Jazz Central Studios are $10. All other performances are free of charge and no ticket is required.

Tour Schedule

Saturday, March 19 | 1 p.m.
Crooners Supper Club
6161 Hwy 65 NE
Minneapolis, MN 55432
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here through Crooners

Monday, March 21 | 7 p.m.
Hastings High School
200 General Sieben Dr
Hastings, MN 55033

Tuesday, March 22 | 7 p.m.
Waconia Performing Arts Center
1650 Community Dr
Waconia, MN 55387

Wednesday, March 23 | 7 p.m.
Duluth East High School
301 N 40th Ave E
Duluth, MN 55804

Thursday, March 24 | 7 p.m.
Monticello High School
5225 School Blvd.
Monticello, MN 55362

Friday, March 25 | 8 p.m.
Jazz Central Studios
407 Central Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here through Jazz Central Studios

Saturday, April 2 | 1:30 p.m.
Home Concert Featuring Adolphus Jazz Ensemble
Jussi Björling Recital Hall
Gustavus Adolphus College
Saint Peter, MN 56082


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