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Features

NIU Jazz bands to perform tonight

The Northern Illinois University Jazz Lab Band and the NIU U-Jazz Band will perform their first concert of the spring semester at 8 p.m. Thursday. The concert will take place at the NIU School of Music Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Music Building, 300 Lucinda Ave.

Both jazz ensembles will perform a wide 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 and talented members, including Sean Holly, a trombonist from DeKalb High School, as well as many outstanding 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 trombonists Matt Farias and Joshua Cleveland.

In addition, the group counts 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. 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.

For more information, contact Lynn Slater at 815-753-1546 or lslater@niu.edu.

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