Jazz Ensembles

Join one of Luther's tight knit and talented jazz bands! In these bands you will play music in a variety of classic and contemporary jazz styles.

Jazz Orchestra

Jazz orchestra on tourWhether they’re swinging to the tunes of Duke Ellington and Count Basie, making a Brazilian samba come alive, or simply laying down a heavy funk groove, the musicians of the “Superband” (as director Dr. Juan Tony Guzmán calls the ensemble) are guaranteed to make any space alive with musical energy.

The Jazz Orchestra travels annually and tours abroad every four years—most recently in May 2016 to Brazil for a three-week, 13 performance immersion in the musical cultures of Rio de Janeiro and the northeastern states of Paraíba, Pernambuco, and Rio Grande do Norte.


In addition to regular performances on the Luther College campus, the Jazz Orchestra has been featured at the Iowa Jazz Championships and Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference. Guest artists and clinicians on campus in recent years include Danilo Pérez, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Luciana Souza, Kenny Barron, David Sanchez, and Kurt Elling. The Luther College Center Stage Series and Music Department regularly include professional jazz artists on their performance calendars.

Prospective Students

Jazz Orchestra meets five days a week, and is made up of musicians from all class years and study areas. Auditions for the ensemble take place every fall. Throughout the year the Jazz Orchestra performs on-campus in the Center for Faith and Life and in Marty’s Cafe, as well as annually taking their music on the road for a regional, national, or international tour. Click below to learn more about ensemble tours.

Jazz band in martysThe 20-member Luther College Jazz Band is directed by Dr. Juan Tony Guzmán and performs regularly throughout the year including Family Weekend events, the Homecoming Jazz Night at Marty’s, and its own formal concert each semester. In Jazz Band, students immerse themselves in the jazz aesthetics expressed in composition, groove, and improvisation. And when the Jazz band plays music together, they lift up the ideals of individuality, creativity, and community.

The ensemble gives students a solid foundation in the jazz tradition of big band swing while at the same time exploring more contemporary genres and new jazz compositions and arrangements. Jazz Band helps prepare students for eventual membership in the Luther College Jazz Orchestra, one of the major touring ensembles at Luther.

Prospective Students

Jazz Band meets three days a week, and is made up of musicians from all class years and study areas. Auditions for the ensemble take place every fall. Throughout the year the Jazz Band performs on-campus in the Center for Faith and Life and in Marty’s Cafe.

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Learn the fundamentals of jazz at Luther College! During your course of study you will learn about a wide range of repertoire, improvisation, music theory, and proper technique for your instrument.

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Meet the Director

Tony Guzmán portrait
Professor of Music
Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Band

Office: Jenson-Noble 163

Phone: 563-387-1354

Email: guzmanto@luther.edu

2023-2024 Jazz Rosters

Jazz Orchestra

Rhythm Section
Jack Kates, Dubuque, Iowa – Bass
Simon McDonald, Northfield, Minn.  – Drum Set
ChristIan Montover, North Liberty, Iowa – Guitar
Reece Wright, Annandale, Minn. – Piano
Siobhán Dunn, Rock Island, Ill. – Vibes

Ethan Grunewald, Fairmont, Minn. – Alto
Sarah Olson, Waverly, Iowa – Alto
Elijah Wallace, Roseville, Minn. – Tenor
Mya Ploor,  Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Tenor
Simon Poelman, St. Paul, Minn.  – Baritone

Hannah Wren, Anthem, Aiz.
Emma Lee, Lewiston, Minn.
Kristian Stordalen, St. Paul, Minn.
Grace Parrott, Iowa City, Iowa
Austin Efflandt, East Moline, Ill.

Cole Barrett, Waukee Iowa
Zach Cummer, Waverly, Iowa
Michael Van Meter, Delhi, Iowa
Rikka Heimdal,  Milford, Iowa- Bass

Jazz Band

Rhythm Section
Ellie Hoehne, Junction City, Wis. – Guitar
John Kerber, Decorah, Iowa – Guitar
Michael Van Meter, Delhi IA – Bass guitar
Noah Carey, Iowa City, Iowa – Drum Set
Ole Mustad, Kristiansand, Norway – Piano

Anders Peterson, Dassel, Minn. – Alto
August Phillis, Cedar Falls, Iowa  – Alto
David Helbling, Freeport, Ill. – Tenor
Grace Violet Priestly, Pine River, Wis. – Tenor
Lawson Morris, Oskaloosa, Iowa – Baritone

Charles Jetton, Coralville, Iowa
Hannah Kerchner, Lenox, Iowa
Carter Sommerness, Cottage Grove, Minn.
Lilly Spade, Eagan, Minn.
Joshua Fenn, Onalaska, Wis.

Karlton Anderson, Baxter, Minn.
Jonas Haugland, Minneapolis, Minn.
Dane Nygaard, Wesley, Iowa
Reece Flynn, Mantorville, Minn.