Jazz Combos at Luther College offer students the opportunity to develop jazz performance skills through the study of improvisation, interaction, and rhythmic and time feel in the context of small groups. Listening and analysis of essential repertoire and recordings from the history of jazz is central. Combo students learn how to perform in a jam session environment while also expanding capabilities for arranging and composition. An emphasis is placed on individual expression, group identity, and collaborative acumen in the pursuit of swinging, soulful music making.
Combos are formed by the students at the beginning of each semester and coached weekly by Jon Ailabouni. Each group is expected to perform at least two times during the semester. Students at every stage of learning participate in the combo program. Every semester, a variety of combos emerge with a range of experience levels and aesthetic priorities.
Students from the jazz area host an informal jam session in Marty's on most Friday nights. This is an ideal place for all students of jazz to perform regularly and hone their improvisational and group interaction abilities.