Jazz Lab Band Takes Third at Jazz Fest

The Michigan Tech Jazz Lab Band did well in the Eau Claire Jazz Festival held April 22-23 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The Jazz Lab Band took third place in the College Big Band category. With a score of 86.5, the Jazz Lab Band finished just behind second-place University of Wisconsin-Madison Jazz Ensemble (87.750). UW-Madison’s Jazz Orchestra won the College Big Band Category with a score of 92.

Two Michigan Tech ensembles opened the festival on the morning of April 22. MOMENTUM, an ensemble of horns, vocal and rhythm section opened the day at 8 a.m. followed by JAZTEC, a seven-piece combo that specializes in contemporary jazz, funk and original styles.

Under the direction of Mike Irish (VPA) director of Jazz Studies, the Jazz Lab Band is a big band comprised of up to 20 musicians from throughout the country and features a broad repertoire of music ranging from the Big Band Era to contemporary jazz and original compositions.

Irish says the accomplishments of the Tech students are even more impressive when you consider none are music majors.
“It is always gratifying to do well against all of the music schools, since we are the only ‘non-music-program’ school competing.”

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