St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf Jazz releases vinyl LP ‘Cubano Be, Cubano Bop’

Cover of St. Olaf Jazz Band's Cubano Be, Cubano Bop LP featuring a group of students in Cuba.
The cover of the St. Olaf Jazz Band’s new vinyl LP features students who participated in the ensemble’s tour to Cuba in the spring of 2016.

The St. Olaf Jazz Band has released its first vinyl recording, Cubano Be, Cubano Bop, November 16.

This vinyl-exclusive recording features music from the ensemble’s 2016 tour of Cuba, including Thaw, a work by Dan Cavanagh that was commissioned for the tour.

St. Olaf College received an invitation from the Cuban Ministry of Culture for its St. Olaf Jazz ensemble to perform a series of concerts in Havana in the spring of 2016. Led by St. Olaf faculty member Dave Hagedorn, the nationally recognized ensemble performed several concerts and had the chance to work with Cuban jazz artists and play alongside local ensembles.

Hagedorn, hailed as one of Minnesota’s top jazz musicians, has led the St. Olaf Jazz program for nearly two decades. “The most important reason we went to Cuba was to experience a culture that’s different from ours and that has a rich musical tradition,” Hagedorn says. “I was hoping we would learn something about it, and we learned in spades.”

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

The full tracklist for the Cubano Be Cubano Bop recording is:

  • Cubano Be Cubano Bop – George Russell
  • Thaw – Dan Cavanagh, commissioned work
  • Sultry Sunset – Duke Ellington, transcr. David Berger
  • Blues for Stephanie – John Clayton
  • Ramblin’ – Ornette Coleman, arr. Mike Gibbs

About St. Olaf Jazz
The nationally recognized jazz ensembles at St. Olaf College offer outstanding performance opportunities to students of any major. The college’s jazz program is home to three bands, each with approximately 21 members. Under the direction of David Hagedorn, a variety of musical styles are incorporated into every concert throughout the year, including swing, be-bop, fusion, funk, salsa and Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and New Orleans grooves.