JP Big Band Premier Concert
November 2012 Winona Art Center
by Deb Nahrgang
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JP Big Band "Five Years On" Recording
Session April 2018 St. Mary's U.
by Brett Huus & Eric Heukeshoven
The John Paulson Big Band
For over 30 years, Dr. John Paulson has been writing and arranging big band charts. The John Paulson Big Band was founded in 2012 with the assistance of a grant from the McKnight Foundation administered by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. In November of 2012, the group blew the roof off the old church that houses the Winona Art Center with a standing room only concert. The live recording of this event plus some additional studio work led to the completion of their first CD “The John Paulson Big Band Project.” Since then, they have performed several times each year at venues like: The Page Theatre at Saint Mary’s University, The Winona County History Center, a road trip to the JEN (Jazz Educators’ Network) Conference in Louisville, KY, Winona State University, high school residencies in Red Wing, Rochester and Rushford plus regular gigs at their home base in Winona- Wellington’s Pub & Grill.
Many of the Midwest’s finest musicians and soloists now perform regularly with the JPBB including the amazing Adam Meckler (trumpet & flugelhorn), Scott Agster and Dave Graf (trombone) and guitarist Scott Gerry. Joining the group on their 2ndCD is vocalist Ariane Lydon.
Like the first recording, their 2ndCD, “Five Years On” includes several varied styles of contemporary jazz- all composed and arranged by Dr. Paulson. These include: straight ahead blues, Latin and swing; a bluesy ballad with vocals and a twisted tango with crazy time changes. All these are greatly accessible to the listener. This project was also made possible by a grant from the McKnight Foundation and SEMAC in Rochester, MN