St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf Jazz to perform at Crooners October 27

The award-winning St. Olaf Jazz I ensemble, led by Joseph Jefferson.
The award-winning St. Olaf Jazz I ensemble, led by Joseph Jefferson (seated front row, center), will perform at Crooners on October 27.

St. Olaf College Jazz I, conducted by Joseph Jefferson, will perform at the Crooners Lounge and Supper Club Main Stage in Minneapolis on Friday, October 27, at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.

Jefferson joined St. Olaf as the college’s first tenure-track jazz conductor this fall, and this concert marks his first public performance leading the award-winning St. Olaf Jazz I ensemble. The program will feature the works of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Joe Henderson, John Clayton, Herbie Hancock, Berry Gordy, and Roy Hargrove, among others.

“I am thrilled to present my first concert, featuring a wonderful program ranging from standards to more modern arrangements rooted in the jazz tradition,” says Jefferson. “This soulful performance will enrich and entertain all audiences, and we are excited to return to the Crooners Supper Club in Minneapolis for this special occasion.”

St. Olaf Jazz I has 21 members and is the premier large jazz ensemble at St. Olaf. The jazz program is home to two ensembles that perform both on- and off-campus concerts every academic year. These versatile groups perform in a variety of musical styles, including swing, be-bop, fusion, funk, salsa and Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and traditional jazz idioms. Jefferson is an accomplished trombonist and award-winning educator who serves as an associate professor of music at St. Olaf.

“Joining a music program with a long history of musical excellence has been an immensely fulfilling experience for me as an academic, performer, and scholar,” says Jefferson. “As the new head of jazz, I am motivated to continue building on the jazz program’s success and increasing its recognition at St. Olaf.”

St. Olaf Jazz I was awarded “Outstanding Performance by Large Undergraduate Jazz Ensemble” by DownBeat Magazine in 2019 and voted the “Best College or University Big Band” by DownBeat in 2011. Jazz I also toured internationally to Cuba in 2016, performing in Matanzas and Havana, where the style of Afro-Cuban jazz emerged in the early 1940s.

Crooners Lounge and Supper Club has played an integral part of the Twin Cities’ entertainment sector and offers guests and audience members the opportunity to experience high-quality, live music including cover artists, jazz quartets, and show tune medleys.

Tickets for the St. Olaf Jazz I concert on October 27 are available as single tickets, tables for two to four people, and premium seating for tables of four, ranging from $15-25 per seat. For parties of more than six, please email