The Lawrence University Jazz Band (LUJB), under the direction of José Encarnación, has played an important part in the Lawrence Jazz Studies program for almost a quarter century. LUJB members perform at an advanced level, and great attention is given to detail and interpretation of a wide variety of musical styles.
Each year at Jazz Celebration Weekend, the LUJB presents the afternoon showcase concert featuring the festival's renowned educational clinicians as guest solo artists and conductors, premiering fresh compositions and arrangements. Recent performances include selections by Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Florence, Jamey Simmons, Dave Hanson, Joe Gallardo and Tower of Power. The LUJB also performs many original student and faculty works.
LUJB students sightread an extensive amount of music which includes a broad range of historical and contemporary literature. Rehearsals and concerts are often recorded and analyzed by the group, and Lawrence's state of the art recording facility consistently provides superior quality recordings of this jazz ensemble for various applications.
Leadership opportunities are encouraged within the band, and upperclassmen may conduct and rehearse the LUJB or act as section leaders. Individual input is valued, and each section of the ensemble is highlighted at several points during the year. Section leaders are responsible for helping to prepare challenging solis and section features.
Although rehearsal time is focused on large ensemble preparation, it is a goal of the LUJB to explore new avenues of improvisation. Unique compositions with interesting improvisational techniques, free improvisation, solo features, and open rhythm section grooves are incorporated in both rehearsals and concerts.
Students also share their musical talents with their community. Outreach projects such as benefit concerts and mentoring high school jazz students give LUJB members additional experience in performance and education.
All large ensemble concerts performed in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel can be enjoyed around the world through our live, four camera video webcasts.