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KSTP-TV highlights St. Olaf Jazz ensemble’s upcoming tour to Cuba

""“About 1,600 miles separates Minnesota from Cuba — but next month, that distance will be a beat closer,” notes a KSTP-TV story about the St. Olaf Jazz ensemble’s upcoming tour to the country.

The Twin Cities ABC affiliate caught up with the St. Olaf Jazz musicians as they played at Crooners Lounge and Supper Club in Minneapolis just weeks before they leave for Cuba.

In addition to performing a series of concerts in Havana and Matanzas, members of the nationally recognized jazz band will have the opportunity to work with Cuban jazz artists and play alongside local ensembles.

“I won’t believe it until we get off the plane in Havana,” St. Olaf Jazz Conductor Dave Hagedorn tells KSTP.

St. Olaf Jazz will be in Cuba March 20-25 — the same time that President Barack Obama will make a historic visit to the island nation.

The St. Olaf Jazz Program is home to three bands, each of which offers outstanding performance opportunities to students of all majors. St. Olaf Jazz I was voted the “Best Undergraduate College or University Big Band” by DownBeat magazine in May 2011.