Connect. Create. Transform.
For trumpeter, jazz musician, and educator Jon Ailabouni, these three goals define his approach to music. Whether Ailabouni is touring in Brazil, Puerto Rico, or France, improvising with the likes of Kurt Elling and Paquito D'Rivera, or directing his jazz and concert bands at Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa, Jon is pursuing the musical connection, the generative spark, that manifests sound and emotion in the creative space, and transforms the musician and the listener in meaningful and unexpected ways.
These aspirations have taken Ailabouni to featured performances at the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago, the Detroit International Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, and concerts with Bob Mintzer, Fred Hersch, Donny McCaslin, Bobby Watson, Edward Simon, John Clayton, Jamey Haddad, and the New York Voices. Ailabouni's compositions have been premiered at the Jazz Education Network Conference and the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival. As an arranger, Ailabouni has worked with both small and large jazz ensembles, setting the music of Duke Ellington, Woody Shaw, and Radiohead. Jon can be heard on Scott Cowan's album, "Jack’s Place", as well as recordings by Mas Que Nada and the Ben Schmidt-Swartz/Nelson Oliva Group.
After graduating summa cum laude from Luther College, with a degree emphasizing classical trumpet performance, Ailabouni received the Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he earned the school's highest graduate honor, the All-University Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Award. Prior to accepting his current position at Luther College directing the college's Jazz Band, Varsity Band, jazz combos, and teaching jazz improvisation and trumpet, Ailabouni was a member of the faculty at WMU, where he taught jazz brass lessons, directed the Jazz Lab Band and served as co-director of the Western Invitational Jazz Festival. As a first-year teacher at Luther College, Ailabouni hopes to inspire and direct the making of great music in large and small ensembles, establish a methodical and soulful program of study for individuals who are eager to develop their abilities as jazz musicians, and to facilitate opportunities for collaboration amongst faculty and students from a range of artistic disciplines.