NIU Jazz Lab Band to give concert Monday

Published: Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

The Northern Illinois University Jazz Lab Band, directed by Rodrigo Villanueva, will perform its last concert of the fall semester at 8 p.m. Monday. The concert will take place at the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Music Building, 400 Lucinda Ave., DeKalb.

The Lab Band will perform a variety of styles within the jazz genre, including works by legendary jazz composers Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Bill Holman and Pat Metheny.

This year the Lab includes many new and talented members, including two gifted trombonists from DeKalb High School, Sean Holly and Ben Smelser; and many outstanding freshmen, including trumpeters, Francesca Hanson, Gavin Tidaback, and Micah Huff; saxophonists Justin Ponder and Carlos Brown; and trombonists Matt Farias and Joshua Cleveland.

In addition, the group counts with the experience of two graduate students, Evan King and Victor Bastidas; and the talent of sophomore and upper classmen Hayden Ashley, Brian Quinlan, Will Garza, Chris DiBernardo, Jerry Williams, Sam Hight, Malcolm Burks, and Constantine Alexander.

The Lab Band regularly participates in jazz festivals and competitions, and performs at least six concerts per academic year. Last June, the Lab Band won in the College Big Band Division of the Downbeat Magazine 35th Annual Students Awards.

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 are used to support the Jazz Studies program through scholarships, public performances, recording, tours and related activities.

The concert is free and open to the public. The Music Building is accessible to all. For more information, contact Lynn Slater at 815-753-1546 or

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