University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band One Releases "Destiation Unknown"

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The University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band One has released their latest CD entitled Destination Unknown. It contains a wide mix of progressive new compositions and more traditional big band music. Some composers and arrangers whose work is featured on the album include Chris Merz, Jim McNeely, Kyle Novak, Jeff Holmes, Kim Richmond and Duke Ellington.

The CD is available at the website below and at cdbaby.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, UNI Jazz Band One, the School of Music's top jazz performing group, is one of the premier collegiate jazz ensembles in the Midwest. Formerly directed by Robert Washut, Jazz Band One appeared at festivals all over the country and in Europe. The band performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1998, 1989, and 1995 and at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1998 and 1989. Jazz Band One has received outstanding band recognition at the Notre Dame (Indiana), Wichita (Kansas), Kansas City (Missouri), Eau Claire (Wisconsin), and Elmhurst (Illinois) Jazz Festivals. It has twice been a featured band (by invitation) at both the Greeley (Colorado) and KU (Kansas) Jazz Festivals and has performed at IAJE Conferences in Long Beach, California (2002) and Chicago, Illinois (1981). The band has also been the recipient of three Outstanding Performance Awards (1999, 1995 and 1993) in the collegiate big band category of Downbeat magazine's Annual Student Music Awards. As of August 2002, Jazz Band One is under the direction of Chris Merz.

Jazz Band One has been a pioneer in innovative programming and instrumentation. Maintaining a balance of classic Basie and Ellington works and contemporary original compositions, the ensemble's repertoire consistently display's depth and diversity of style. The repertoire also showcases the versatility and high level of musicianship of the players in the band. Several original compositions and arrangements have been commissioned by the band from composers such as Manny Albam, Jane Ira Bloom, Ed Sarath, Chris Merz, Paul McKee, and Rob Hudson.

The band has recorded fifteen CDs. Prominent guest artists who have appeared with Jazz Band One include: Rich Perry, Maria Schneider, Cuong Vu, Peter Erskine, Ben Monder, Benny Golson, Tim Hagans, Ryan Kisor, Bob Berg, Jimmy Heath, Dick Oatts, Terell Stafford, Bobby Shew, Matt Wilson, Donald Harrison, Steve Turre, Jerry Bergonzi, Jane Ira Bloom, Carl Fontana, James Williams, Conrad Herwig, Jiggs Whigham, David Liebman, Sunny Wilkinson, and Hal Galper, among many others.

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