Photos from the recent Maria Schneider residency


Two UNI combos selected for finals of Gene Harris Festival

Two combos with ties to UNI are among the 10 finalists in the 1st annual Gene Harris Jazz Festival combo competition. Group X (Jen Nebraska, UNI '07, alto saxophone; Joel Nagel, UNI '08, trombone; Mike Conrad, current UNI student, piano; Dave Tiede, UNI '07, drums; Jake Staron, UNI '07, bass) and The Aurora Quintet (Rachel Price, UNI '08, saxophone; current UNI students Andrew Thoreen, trombone; Peter Roberts, piano; Riley Sheetz, bass; and George McCutchen, drums) were selected from recorded submissions from across the country. The final round takes place at the Gene Harris Jazz Festival on the campus of the University of Idaho in Boise June 18-21. The winner receives a recording package which includes studio time and cd production and distribution on the Origin label. In addition, the winner will share a concert concert with drummer Roy Haynes.

Jazz Band One wishes to congratulate Mike Hoover, Rock/Paper/Scissors Champion (open class), 2008

Mike Hoover celebrates the win that launched him into the finals while an excited crowd looks on.

Mike Hoover celebrates!

The Northern Jazz Sextet

The Northern Jazz Sextet is an ad hoc ensemble comprised of UNI faculty and alumni. The group performs various functions, including campus concerts, the Tallcorn Jazz Festival, and the UNI Jazz Combo Camp. Coordinated by pianist Bob Washut, the group's personnel also includes faculty members Chris Merz, tenor saxophone, and Chris Buckholz, trombone. The remaining members are Doug Huey ('83), trumpet, Dan Oline ('08), bass, and Tim Crumley ('94), drum set. Jazz trumpet great, Bobby Shew, will perform as special guest artist with the group for a concert at the 2008 Iowa Bandmaster's Association Conference on Thursday, May 8th.

(from left to right): Doug Huey, Dan Oline, Dave Tiede, Bob Washut, Chris Merz, and Chris Buckholz (Tim Crumley not pictured)

(from left to right): Dan Oline, Bob Washut, Chris Buckholz, Chris Merz, Doug Huey, and Dave Tiede (Tim Crumley not pictured)


Jazz Concerts in GBPAC as Originally Planned

Due to the postponement of the Republican debates on the UNI campus, the jazz band concerts of November 2 and November 6 will take place in the Great Hall of the GBPAC, as original planned. We regret any inconvenience caused by the rapid changing of venues, and hope you can all attend.


Jazz Band One 2006-2007 CD Now Available

The newest offering from Jazz Band One, Renovation, featuring the 2006-2007 edition of the band, is on sale now. The new cd features 5 originals and arrangements by UNi students Ryan Middagh and Joel Nagel, and an arrangement by director Chris Merz. The disc also features guest solo work by Des Moines' wizard of the Hammond organ, Sam Salomone. Sam plays on arrangements transcribed by UNI guitar instructor Bob Dunn from the Ray Charles album, Genius Plus Soul Equals Jazz. Rounding out the album are pieces by 2007 Tallcorn Festival Guest Artist Kenny Werner and Duke Ellington.


Schmitz wins composition award

Chris Schmitz (MM Jazz Pedagogy '03) has been awarded the 2007 Sammy Nestico Award for his composition, "Transformation," recorded on the 2002-2003 Jazz Band One cd of the same name. Schmitz is an assistant professor of music at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS.

He was awarded a $1,000 commission for the Airmen of Note (US Air Force) Big Band, sponsors of the competition. Schmitz has also accepted a commission for a new piece for Jazz Band One, to be premiered at the 2008 Tallcorn/Sinfonian Dimensions in Jazz concerts February 15 and 16, 2008.


Maria Schneider in residence April 18-21, 2008

Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider will be in residence at UNI Friday, April 18-Monday, April 21, 2008 as part of the Hearst Artist Series. Activities will include an address to the entire School of Music, a master class on composition, and rehearsals with Jazz Band One. The residency will culminate with Ms. Schneider conducting her compositions with Jazz Band One in concert April 21 at 7:30 PM in the Great Hall of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. All activities are open to the public. A complete schedule of activities will be posted as soon as it is finalized.


UNI Offers Applied Drumset Instruction via the Web

UNI drummers were reunited with recent MM (Jazz Pedagogy) graduate and world-class jazz drummer Tom Giampietro this semester as the School of Music began offering applied drumset lessons via Polycom Videoconferencing equipment. The lessons are a cooperative effort between UNI and Vanderbilt University, where Mr. Giampietro is currently teaching. Tom joins fellow rhythm section instructors, Dr. Robert Washut (piano), Bob Dunn (guitar), David Dunn (bass).

Tom graduated from UNI with a Masters degree in Jazz Pedagogy in 2004. While a student at UNI, he taught applied drumset, coached combos, and directed Jazz Band Three. He appears on two CDs with Jazz Band One, The Unlikely Event and Memento, both named to Herb Wong’s “Blue Chip” CD list.


Jazz Combo Camp

The University of Northern Iowa School of Music Jazz Combo Camp will be held June 17 - 22, 2007. View the Website


Jazz Band One Ends 2005-06 Academic Year with a Bang

Finals Week found Jazz One back at Catamount Studios recording their fifteenth cd. The new disc, to be titled Destination Unknown, will feature compositions and arrangements by band member Kyle Novak and Director Chris Merz. The disc will also feature prominently the 11 members of the band who are appearing on their final Jazz One CD: saxophonists Jen Nebraska, Jeff Guntren, David Oline and Novak; tru peters Caleb Shreves and Brooke Stevens; trombonists Anthony Williams and Dan McCurley; guitarist Travis Stevick; pianist Kent Goodroad; and bassist Eric Krieger.

With a new cd securely in the can, the band hit the road for an East Coast tour. Performances included top-shelf high school jazz programs, including Wew Trier (Chicago, IL), Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Academy (South Hadley, MA), and Hall High School (West Hartford, CT). All three were winners in the most recent Downbeat Awards. Other performances included historical Deerfield Academy (MA) and the Amherst Brewing Company (MA), where the band sampled the local brew between blistering sets.