Dr. John Paulson will release the long-awaited big band jazz CD and DVD, “The John Paulson Big Band Project” at a special CD release party on Sunday, Dec. 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Westfield Golf Club.
Paulson retired from Saint Mary’s in 2012 after over 30 years of full-time teaching. He is now an adjunct jazz instructor at Saint Mary’s and Winona State.
The CD will include eight original jazz compositions of varying styles arranged for a 17-piece jazz ensemble; the DVD features video segments of “live” performances, interviews, all the selections on the audio CD, plus three bonus arrangements not included on the CD.
The release party will include “live” performances of Paulson compositions by the core rhythm section from the big band, including drummer Rich MacDonald, bassist Eric Graham, guitarist Scott Gerry, and Paulson on tenor saxophone, plus various JPBB members sitting in and demonstrating their solo skills.
The realization of this ambitious project is due in large part to a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council and the McKnight Individual Artists grant program. Last fall, Paulson secured the grant to support completion of the writing, hiring of the musicians and production of a concert at the Winona Arts Center, which featured original music that he has been working on for nearly 30 years.
The JPBB features outstanding regional players from Winona, Rochester, Austin and Red Wing, Minnesota, and from La Crosse, Wisconsin, plus several outstanding soloists from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
The JPBB CD and DVD will be available for sale at the release party for $10 and $15. One half of the profits from the DVD will go to support Paulson’s Music Access for All program, which recycles used instruments and gets them to needy students in the Winona Public School system. The CD will soon be available from iTunes and CDbaby.com. Along with music, the release party will include light appetizers and a cash bar.
The event is free and open to the public. For further information on John Paulson or this event, visit his website at paulsonjazz.com.