Ensembles

Jazz Lab Band

The NIU Jazz Lab Band, under the direction of Rodrigo Villanueva, is the Laboratory Jazz Big Band at NIU. This group performs advanced and intermediate material covering a wide variety of jazz styles, including new works composed and/or arranged by NIU faculty and students.

The group has performed with several international artists, including Allen Vizzutti, Fareed Haque, Kelly Sill, Stefan Karlsson, Liam Teague, Art Davis, Tom Garling, Gary Smulyan, Mark Colby and Wayne Bergeron.

The Jazz Lab Band regularly participates in jazz festivals and competitions, and performs at least six concerts per academic year. In 2010 and 2014 the Lab Band was featured at the Illinois Music Education Conference. The group won first place in the College Jazz Big Band division at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Jazz Festival in 2010 and 2008. It has received outstanding recognition at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival many times. The band also got Outstanding Performance recognition at the 35th DOWNBEAT Annual Student Music Awards (June 2012).

During the Winter of 2008 the Lab Band went on tour to Mexico for the first time, participating at the first JazzUV International Jazz Festival and at the 14th San Miguel De Allende Jazz And Blues International Festival. In the Spring of 2011 The Lab Band recorded its first CD Quintessence (© 2011, NIU Jazz Studies) and in 2014 released its first DVD: Live at the 2014 Illinois Music Education Conference (© 2014, NIU Jazz Studies).

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2014-2015 Jazz Lab Band

2014-2015 Jazz Lab Band