Monday, April 02, 2012

Paulson goes out on high note with jazz concert April 13 at SMU

WINONA, Minn. — Dr. John Paulson, directing his final SMU jazz ensemble and jazz combo concert, will go out on a high note 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 13, in Page Theatre. Alumni and friends will join Paulson and SMU jazz students on stage for a special evening of jazz, camaraderie, and celebration.

Paulson has been the music industry program director and director of jazz studies at the university for the past 30 years. Several area alumni will appear with the 18-piece jazz ensemble and Jazz Combo I, which has just returned from a successful tour of Germany. Noted alumni who are slated to perform include guitarists Justin Bell ’99 and Andrew Lund ’85; saxophonists, Ryan Ballanger ’10 and Bob Fisher ’97; and trombonist Brian Zirngible ’98.

The Jazz Ensemble will be playing a wide range of jazz including Chick Corea’s “La Fiesta,” arranged by Michael Philip Mossman; Sammy Nestico’s “Basie Straight Ahead” from Count Basie’s book; the famous ballad “ ’Round Midnight,” arranged by Mike Tomaro and featuring Markeise Russell of Chicagoland on alto sax; and Gordon Goodwin's rowdy tune “The Jazz Police.” Tenor saxophonist Ben Scott of Rochester and trumpeter Tyler Ringeisen will team up as soloists on Duke Jordon’s “Jordu” and Eric Richard’s arrangement of Joe Henderson’s “Recorda Me.”

The 12-piece “Little Big Band,” aka Jazz Combo I, will pull tunes from the repertoire of pieces they performed on their week-long trip to Germany over spring break. Various alumni will sit in on their set, as well as with the jazz ensemble.

Dr. Paulson’s retirement plans include teaching saxophone, jazz improvisation and various other courses as an adjunct instructor, as well as focusing on his own groups and compositions. The year 2012-13 will mark the debut of the John Paulson Big Band with a concert, funded by a $5,000 grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, Nov. 17, 2012 at the Winona Art Center. The John Paulson Big Band will also be featured with the Twin Cities-based Hornheads as part of the Page Series on Feb. 14, 2013. More information can be found at and

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and are available at the Box Office, (507) 457-1715 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or online at