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University of Iowa News Release


April 6, 2007

Johnson County Landmark Perform, Record Tim O'Dell's Music April 21

Johnson County Landmark, the award-winning jazz big band at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present "The Music of Tim O'Dell for Jazz Orchestra," a concert of works by a UI alumnus and former member of the band, at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be recorded for later release on CD.

Johnson County Landmark (JCL) is directed by John Rapson, head of the jazz studies area of the School of Music. The top large ensemble in the jazz area, JCL has the standard big-band instrumentation, with full sections of reed, brass and rhythm instruments. It is made up largely of students in the UI School of Music majoring in performance or in the jazz area.

Special guest artists appearing on the concert will be UI jazz faculty members Brent Sandy, trumpet; Steve Grismore, guitar; and Jim Dreier, drums and percussion; and UI alumnus Bob Thompson, saxophones.

O'Dell played lead alto saxophone in JCL when he was an undergraduate at the UI in jazz and composition, and he later received a doctorate in saxophone performance from the UI. He is currently teaching at the University of Southern Maine and performing on the east coast.

"During my undergrad years I had several works performed and recorded by JCL when Paul Scea was director," O'Dell said. "I have been looking for a good, well-rehearsed big band to record my newer, challenging large jazz ensemble compositions. John Rapson and I got talking last May, and we decided to record the album live with JCL and UI faculty soloists.

"I am really looking forward to hearing the band and soloists -- they have been working hard on this new music, and I know that John and crew will put it off wonderfully. I am also looking forward to seeing old UI friends and am honored to have an entire concert of my music programmed."

His works on the April 21 concert will be "Mr. Id," "Adverse Side Effects," "Strata Suite" ("I. Great Plains," II. "Extended Steps, " III. "Cirrus"), "Dreams of Pangaea," "Fanfare," "Retrospection," "Point of Departure" and "Epilogue Groove."

O'Dell, described in Jazz Times as "A thinking man's player and composer," moved to the east coast in 2001 from the Chicago scene. In Chicago he performed at the Jazz Showcase, the Hot House and the Bop Shop with some of the city's finest musicians, and he recently released his CD album "Ancient Pines" for Chicago's Southport label. O'Dell also performs with, and composes for new music ensembles in Boston and he performs and records around New England in a wide variety of musical styles.

For more information, see

A major ensemble in the UI School of Music jazz program, JCL is a repertory ensemble devoted to the performance of original compositions by jazz masters. JCL's current repertory includes the music of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Tadd Dameron, Thad Jones, Oliver Nelson and Benny Golson, along with new works by students in the jazz studies area at the UI.

JCL has been performing at the UI since the 1960s. The group has traveled to jazz festivals in the United States and Europe, picking up awards on both sides of the Atlantic. Their recording "A Mingus Among Us" was described as "over 70 minutes of sweet, sophisticated jazz classics" in ICON magazine, and River Cities Reader commented that "JCL, the top big band for the University of Iowa School of Music, captures the power of Mingus' music wonderfully."

JCL tours throughout the Midwest. In addition to its free concerts on the UI campus, JCL makes frequent appearances at clubs in Iowa City. It is one of 11 ensembles in the jazz program of the UI School of Music. These diverse ensembles range from combos to big bands and differ in stylistic formats from experimental compositions to traditional repertoires.

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. A recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels, he is a composer and trombonist whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. For more information on Rapson, see

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846;