Luther College Jazz ensembles will perform selections from the rich tradition of American jazz music starting at 9:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in Marty's CyberCafé in the Dahl Centennial Union on Luther's campus.
The concert is open to the public with no charge for admission.
Luther's Jazz Band will play selections of big band arrangements from classic artists such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. Modern innovators and contemporary voices such as Thad Jones, Charles Mingus, John Clayton and Maria Schneider will round out the group's program.
The concert also includes performances by three of Luther College's jazz combos, featuring improvisation and original student compositions, as well as works from the Jazz Orchestra.
The Jazz Band covers the jazz tradition of big band swing while exploring contemporary genres and new jazz compositions. Students who participate in Jazz Band also have the opportunity to participate in a jazz combo and vocal jazz, and study jazz improvisation and composition.
The Jazz Band is under the direction of Jon Ailabouni, Luther adjunct faculty in music.
Ailabouni holds the bachelor's degree from Luther and the master's degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich. He has toured internationally in Brazil, Puerto Rico and France and as a first year faculty member, he hopes to direct great music in both large and small ensembles.
Luther's Jazz Orchestra is recognized as one of the outstanding liberal arts college jazz ensembles in the Upper Midwest and bridges many different styles of jazz. The Jazz Orchestra travels annually and tours abroad every four years. Their most recent trip took them to Brazil in 2012 where they were featured in the "Festival No Improviso" and performed for audiences in Säo Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Locally, the Jazz Orchestra has been featured at the Iowa Jazz Championships, Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference and the International Market Square in Minneapolis. They have recorded two albums, "Transformation" in 2011 and "On the Move" in 2003, and their third recording project has recently been released, titled "Aquarela." All recordings are available at concert sites or at the Luther College Book Shop.
The Luther Jazz Orchestra is under the direction of Juan Tony Guzmán, Luther associate professor of music.
Guzmán holds the bachelor's degree from Luther, the master's degree and an associate degree from Florida State University as well as a degree in electromechanical engineering from the Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in Santiago, Dominican Republic. He frequently serves as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator at music events nationwide.
Luther College is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the world with seven choirs, three orchestras, three bands, four jazz groups and nearly 1,000 student musicians. Luther students perform in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. More than 350 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, church music and performance.