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CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: Feb. 7, 2000

Johnson County Landmark, Jazz Lab Band to perform at Valentine's Dance

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Johnson County Landmark (JCL) jazz band and the Jazz Lab Band will play at the Valentine's Day Dance, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14 in the Iowa Memorial Union Main Ballroom.

The dance and concert is sponsored by the Associated Residence Halls and the Stepping Up Project, a community and campus coalition to reduce high-risk drinking and its harmful effects. It will be an alcohol-free event. Tickets are $3 and will be available at the door. UI students who show a university ID card will be admitted free.

The two jazz bands will be under the direction of John Rapson, head of the jazz program in the UI School of Music.

The program will feature "big band" dance music from the classic styles of the 1930s and '40s. Trombonist Aaron Rader will be featured on the Ellington standard "I'm Beginning to See the Light," alto saxophonist Tim Owens will take the spotlight on Oliver Nelson's ballad "Black, Brown and Beautiful," and bass trombonist Andrey Kharmalov will play a tour-de-force swing version of "You're My Everything." Other classic big band tunes will include "Stompin' at the Savoy" from the Chick Webb Band, Glenn Miller's "In the Mood," Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing" and Count Basie's "Splanky."

A major ensemble in the UI School of Music jazz program, JCL is a repertory ensemble devoted to the performance of original compositions by jazz masters. JCL has the standard big-band instrumentation, with full sections of reed, brass and rhythm instruments. It is made up largely of students in the UI School of Music majoring in performance or in the jazz area.

JCL's current repertory includes the music of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Tadd Dameron, Thad Jones, Oliver Nelson and Benny Golson, along with new works by students in the jazz studies area at the UI.

The ensemble has been performing at the UI since the 1960s. The group has traveled to jazz festivals in the United States and Europe, picking up awards on both sides of the Atlantic.

The group's most recent recording, "A Mingus Among Us," was described as "over 70 minutes of sweet, sophisticated jazz classics" in ICON magazine, and River Cities Reader commented that "JCL, the top big band for the University of Iowa School of Music, captures the power of Mingus' music wonderfully."

The Lab Jazz Band is a student ensemble featuring instrumentation of the swing band and big band eras. The group's repertory combines classic works from the jazz stars of the '20s through the '40s with contemporary big band charts and arrangements representing the works of diverse artists including big band composer and director Toshiko Akiyoshi, pop-jazz saxophonist David Sanborn and the funk/horn band Tower of Power.

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. A recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels, he is a composer and trombonist whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. His recent experimental jazz recording "Dances and Orations" has been hailed as "one of the most vital CDs to come around in a long time" in Jazziz and as "a conceptual and musical triumph" by Josef Woodard in the Independent.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/. The UI Jazz Program and JCL have web pages at http://www.uiowa.edu/~bands/jcl/index.shtml.

The goal of the Stepping Up Project is to change the environment that encourages high-risk drinking. As a part of this effort, the organization offers activities for students that do not involve alcohol, supports local police efforts to enforce the minimum drinking age law and works to revitalize Iowa City so that families, seniors and non-drinkers may enjoy the same social choices as drinkers currently find downtown. For more information, visit their web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~stepping, or call 353-2529 or 335-1349.