2021-22 Conference – Featured University Performing Ensembles

LSU Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Studies at LSU have a rich history that can be traced back to the 1950s. Boasting such student alums as trombone legend Carl Fontana, composer/pianist Les Hooper and many others who have made significant contributions to America’s great art form, the School of Music continues to nurture young jazz talent in a vibrant, collaborative musical environment.

The LSU Jazz Ensemble is the premier big band at LSU. The ensemble has performed with many notable guest artists and specializes in classic and modern repertoire from the large jazz ensemble canon. The LSU Jazz Ensemble plays the music of notable jazz composers including Rufus Reid, Thad Jones, Gil Evans, Maria Schneider, Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Holland, Darcy Argue, Kenny Wheeler, Jim McNeely, and regularly premieres new works by faculty arrangers and advanced students.

LSU Jazz Quintet

The LSU Jazz Quintet is the School of Music’s premier chamber jazz group. Featuring John Gray on trumpet, Roderick Paulin on saxophones, Connor Underwood on piano, Austyn Wood on bass and Ty Ellender on drums, the quintet is devoted to the study and performance of both new compositions as well as music by the leading composers in jazz. In the past year alone, their exciting programs have paid homage to the legacies of such iconic figures as Wayne Shorter, Alvin Batiste, Tom Harrell, Tadd Dameron, Freddie Hubbard and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. The members of the quintet are in-demand professional players in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas, and all have national and international experience in the jazz and commercial music worlds.

LSU Wind Ensemble

The LSU Wind Ensemble enjoys a long history as one of the nation’s finest collegiate wind  ensembles and is comprised of top wind and percussion students at LSU. Through the performance of a wide range of repertoire, the LSU Wind Ensemble provides an opportunity for students to thoroughly develop and refine their individual musicianship. The ensemble enjoys a rich history of collaborating with faculty soloists, composers, and guest artists from around the world, including a recent collaboration with GRAMMY-winning composer Michael Daugherty for a world premiere performance at the College Band Directors National Association Conference in 2019.

Former members of the LSU Wind Ensemble can be found playing professionally across the country in major orchestral and military service band positions, as well as teaching at major institutions both nationally and internationally. In addition to their regular series of on-campus concerts, the LSU Wind Ensemble has toured extensively and performed at both regional and national music conventions.