Luther College Jazz Orchestra releases new album 'Aquarela'

The Luther College Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Juan Tony Guzmán, is proud to announce the release of "Aquarela," a new recording released on Sept. 24. 

"Aquarela" is on sale at the Luther College Book Shop, online at, and will be available during the 2013 Luther Homecoming Jazz at Marty's concert at 9:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. "Aquarela" is also available for download at CD Baby.

Portuguese for "watercolor," "Aquarela" symbolizes the varied and colorful repertoire of the Luther College Jazz Orchestra in addition to the strong connection between the ensemble, and people and music of Brazil.

In 2012, Jazz Orchestra traveled to Brazil where it performed, learned and taught in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, including at the Festival de Jazz No Improviso in Curitiba. Aquarela seeks to imitate the diverse palette of that beautiful culture and bring familiar sounds to new ears.

The album features three Brazilian songs, "Um a Zero," "Aquarela do Brasil" and "Asa Branca" alongside a composition by Luther alumnus Daniel Kallman titled "That's a Very Good Question." Other works include two selections from the Ellington library—"Sunset and the Mockingbird" and "Limbo Jazz," Charlie Parker's "Billie's Bounce," Moisés Simons' "The Peanut Vendor" (El Manisero), "Oblivion" by Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla and "Seeds," an exploratory work into the roots of jazz by Rick Lawn.

As one of Luther's four major touring ensembles, Jazz Orchestra travels annually and tours abroad every four years. In addition to tours and regular performances on the Luther campus, Jazz Orchestra has been featured at the Iowa Jazz Championships and Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference. Students at Luther have the opportunity to participate in two jazz bands, jazz combos and a vocal jazz ensemble and to study jazz improvisation, composition/arranging and history.