The Northern Illinois University Jazz Lab Band, directed by Rodrigo Villanueva, and the NIU U-Jazz Band, directed by graduate assistants Evan King and Matt Attfield, will perform their first concert of the spring 2013 semester at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 7.
The concert will take place at the NIU School of Music Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Music Building, 300 Lucinda Ave. in DeKalb.
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Both jazz ensembles will perform a variety of styles within the jazz genre, including works by legendary jazz composers Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver and Pat Metheny.
This year, the Lab includes many new members, including Sean Holly, a gifted trombonist from the DeKalb High School, as well as many freshmen, including Everette Benton on drums; Ethan Woyach, Andy Czarnecki, Francesca Hanson, Gavin Tidaback, and Micah Huff on trumpets; Carlos Brown on alto saxophone; and Matt Farias and Joshua Cleveland on trombones.
In addition, the group comes with the experience of five graduate students -- Marianne Kim, Evan King, Matt Attfield, Jaron McCarr and Victor Bastidas; and the talent of sophomore and upper classmen Kandace Miggins, Brian Quinlan, Eric Smith, Jerry Williams and Sam Hight.
The Lab Band regularly participates in jazz festivals and competitions, and performs at least six concerts per academic year. In fact, last June the Lab Band won in the College Big Band Division of the prestigious Downbeat Magazine 35th annual Students Awards.
The group has featured several international jazz artists, including Gary Smulyan, Allen Vizzutti, Stephen Anderson, Mark Colby, Craig Butterfield, Robert Chappell, Fareed Haque, Liam Teague, Art Davis, Kelly Sill, Steve Duke, Ronald Carter, Stefan Karlsson, Tom Garling, and Wayne Bergeron.
The first NIU Jazz Lab Band album, Quintessence (NIU Jazz Studies~2011), will be available at the concert. Proceeds from the sales of NIU Jazz recordings benefit Northern Illinois University School of Music and are used to support the Jazz Studies program through scholarships, public performances, recording, tours and related activities.