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Faculty Artist Series: Jon Ailabouni, jazz sextet

  • Date: Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Time: 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Location: Center for Faith and Life, Recital Hall

Jon Ailabouni and the Optimism Jazz Sextet will give a recital on February 28th at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall.

The Optimism Jazz Sextet is made up of regional jazz musicians and educators: trumpeter Jon Ailabouni from Luther College, bassist Karyn Quinn and saxophonists Greg Balfany and Jeff Erikson from University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, and pianist Larry Price and drummer Rich MacDonald from Winona State University. With the three-horn front line and standard rhythm section, the group dives into diverse repertoires from New Orleans second line to hard bop a la Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and the contemporary compositions of New York saxophonist Eric Alexander and drummer T.S. Monk. In addition to these repertoires, the group’s presentation at Luther College will feature original music by members of the group.

A masterclass on the topic of “Imitation, Assimilation, and Innovation: A Process for Fostering Original Expression In Jazz” will be held at 2:45 p.m. on February 28th in the CFL Recital Hall. This presentation will examine the seeming contradiction between imitation and originality in jazz performance. Jazz is a music that asks the player to simultaneously imitate and innovate within the tradition. Through a foundation built on improvisation, jazz functions democratically, without a single person as the sole focal point or musical leader of the ensemble. The goal of the masterclass is to spark the student’s creativity and artistic agency through both demonstration and student participation.

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