John Paulson Big Band Concert

Sunday | January 21 | 3:00-4:45pm
Vivian R. Fusillo Main Stage Theatre | Performing Arts Center
Winona State University

The Winona State University music department is hosting a free John Paulson Big Band concert. The 18-piece group includes some of the best jazz players and teachers in the region. They are unique in that they perform only original big band jazz composed and arranged by musical director John Paulson. The music is an exciting mix of contemporary blues, Latin, ballads, funk and swing with plenty of solo space for the players.

Paulson taught jazz and woodwinds at Saint Mary’s University for over 30 years and he is currently an adjunct music instructor at Winona State University. His first big band CD “The John Paulson Big Band Project” was released in 2012. Portions of the Winona State concert will be recorded and included on the group’s upcoming CD “Five Years On” slated for release in the fall of 2018.

This concert will also feature Twin Cities guest artists Adam Meckler (trumpet and flugelhorn), David Graf (trombone), and guitarist Scott Gerry plus the addition of vocalist and recording artist Ariane Lydon.

Adam Meckler is a trumpet player, composer, and educator living in Minneapolis, MN. He is an Edwards Instrument Co. Performing Artist and Clinician, and leads The Adam Meckler Orchestra (AMO), an 18-piece big band that plays his original compositions. The AMO’s debut album ‘When the Clouds Look Like This’ was listed among 2014’s Best Jazz Releases by iTunes.

As one of the most versatile trombonists in the Twin Cities, Dave Graf has worked in a wide range of musical settings. His jazz resume includes performances with Slide Hampton, Herbie Lewis, Jack McDuff, Charlie Persip and Superband, the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Orchestra, and the Woody Herman Orchestra.

Ariane Lydon is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who was born in England and has lived on three continents–from Chile to Switzerland, France and the U.S. Lydon’s voice is unique and alluring. She has recorded over 11 CDs to date, including “Lady of the Green”, “Listen to Crows” and “Still She Moves,” listed among the 10 “Best in Folk” by Chicago’s WFMT, in 2004.

The Winona State University concert is free and open to the public. For parking and venue directions, please visit the campus map

The John Paulson Big Band will also be performing an evening concert February 19 at 7:00 pm in the fantastic new Rushford-Peterson High School Theatre. The concert will follow a two-day artist residency where Dr. Paulson, along with drummer and WSU music professor Dr. Rich MacDonald and trumpeter Adam Meckler, will work with R-P high school’s jazz band and other students. The high school jazz band directed by WSU alumnus Adam George will open the concert. It is free and open to the public. For more information on the new Rushford-Peterson high school, please visit:

These events were made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.

John Paulson is a member of the River Arts Alliance. To learn more about the benefits of membership, please visit:


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