Gustavus Jazz Lab Band
Steve Wright, director
The Gustavus Jazz Lab Band has been an ensemble with academic credit at Gustavus for over 30 years and provides a strong performance experience in big band jazz, jazz improvisation and related styles. In addition to fall and spring concerts and on-campus appearances, the group tours annually. In the past, the band has toured the Midwest extensively, as well as extended tours to the West Coast and a southern tour to New Orleans in 1998.
The 2001 Spring Tour took the Jazz Lab Band to the East Coast, performing in areas of New England, Boston, New York and Washington, D. C. In 2003, the band flew to Seattle and toured Washington State. Following their return, they were chosen to appear on a live broadcast of Garrison Keillors Prairie Home Companion radio show. The show was produced at Gustavus Adolphus College.
Over the years, guest artists have performed with the jazz ensembles, including Marvin Stamm, Dick Oatts, John Fedchock, Denis DeBlasio, Frank Mantooth, Allen Vizzutti and a number of Twin Cities jazz musicians. The Jazz Lab Band has recorded in studios in St. Paul, Nashville and Minneapolis. Their CD — Taking Off — was released in 2007 at a joint concert with Minneapolis South High School's jazz ensemble directed by Mr. Scott Carter. The performance was presented as a part of the Twin Cities Jazz Society's "Jazz from J to Z" concert series. Taking Off was recorded in the spring of 2006 -- in recording sessions before tour and at the spring jazz concert following their tour to the Denver, Colorado area. The CD was produced entirely at Gustavus, with session tracking by vocalist and sound engineer Alex Nelson. Steve Wright mixed and mastered the final recording. The cover art is a reproduction of a work by long time Professor of Art, Bruce McClain.
Rehearsals are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 8:30–9:30 p.m..