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NIU Jazz Lab Band to perform second concert of fall season

The Northern Illinois University Jazz Lab Band, under the direction of Rodrigo Villanueva, will perform its second concert of the Fall 2009 season at the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Music Building at 550 Lucinda Ave. The concert for all ages is free and starts at 8 p.m. Monday.

The bands will perform an eclectic and entertaining program, covering many musical styles within the jazz big band genre. The concert will include music of some of the greatest jazz composers and arrangers, including works by Sonny Stitt, Sammy Nestico, Lyle Mays, Pat Metheny, Victor Feldman, Miles Davies, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thad Jones, Bob Mintzer and Rodrigo Villanueva himself.

The 2009-10 edition of the Lab Band combines the experience of upper classmen Natalie Scharf, Brett Hedrick, Malcolm Burks, Matt Judson, James Miller, Joel Ream, Drew Schreiber, Jacob Slocum, Kyle Stephens and Matt Todd, with the drive of a new breed of talented young first year students that are already seasoned players, such as Kimberly Branch, Kristen Gaskey, Casey Grogg, Lisa Oller, Ivan Arden, Samuel Jewell, Joshua Singleton, Andrew Szymanek and Drew Tobias.

In 2008, the NIU Jazz Lab Band won the first place at the 41st UW-Eau Claire Jazz Festival and it was featured at several international jazz festivals in Mexico, such as The First JazzUV International Jazz Festival and The XIV San Miguel De Allende International Jazz & Blues Festival.

This concert will be featured at the 21st Annual Super Computing Conference in Portland, Ore., via Internet2: The Lab Band’s concert will be part of a demonstration of the applications of Internet2 at this prestigious Super Computing conference. The NIU Lab Band, directed by Villanueva, also will present a clinic and a concert at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference on Jan. 29, 2010.

“Being accepted to present and perform at the IMEA Conference is a competitive application process and a high honor,” Villanueva said in a recent news release.

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