Latin American Ensemble

The Mason Latin American Ensemble, directed by DMA candidate Juan Megna, embraces the rhythmic Latin American traditions married to the harmonies of jazz, through music of the past, present and future. The ensemble explores different eras and their composers, as well as new compositions that continue the tradition of crossing musical borders.

CONCERTS – Fall 2017

  • Saturday, October 21, 7pm – 11pm: Mason Jazz at Epicure Cafe (Mason small groups perform at Epicure Cafe in Fairfax! Cover charge at door. www.epicurecafe.org)
  • Wednesday, November 29, 8pm: Jazz Combos/Latin American Ensemble (de Laski 3001 – Free and open to the public)

DEPARTMENTALS (12:30 – 1:20pm, Harris Theatre, MUSI 300 credit) 

  • Wednesday, November 1:  Latin American Ensemble/Traditional Jazz Ensemble 

CONVOCATION 

  • Sunday, August 27, 4-6pm:  Mason Jazz “Welcome Back” Party – Dinner and performance by your Mason Jazz faculty.  (de Laski 3001)  Mandatory for all Jazz majors. Strongly suggested for Jazz minors and those participating in jazz ensembles. 

Juan Megna is a drummer/percussionist from Argentina who has lived for 12 years in Brazil where, in 2008, got his degree in Brazilian Popular Music at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP, Campinas, SP).  In 2015 he moved to Cincinnati, OH and studied at the College Conservatory of Music where he earned his Master Degree in Jazz Performance in the Spring semester of 2017.

In Brazil, he played and/or recorded with many prestigious artists such as Vinicius Dorin (Hermeto Pascoal), Jarbas Barbosa (Banda Mantiqueira), Rubinho Antunes, Felipe Silveira (Rosa Passos), Marcos Souza (Johnny Alf), Bruno Mangueira, Rafael dos Santos, Budi Garcia among many others. Considered a versatile musician, he was part of many groups and ensembles, including the Unicamp Symphony Orchestra (Campinas, SP) and the Brazilian percussion Ensemble “Tambaleio” among others.

In Cincinnati, he was an active member of the local music scene. He played with Craig Bailey, Phil deGreg Trio, Kim Pensyl, Rusty Burge, Aaron Jacobs. He also formed, with Thiago Camargo and Kevin Mc Clennan, the Brasa Trio, performing a repertoire of Brazilian Standards and new composers.

In the Fall of 2017, Juan moved to Washington DC area to begin as a candidate of DMA at George Mason University where he is currently directing the Latin American Ensemble in the Jazz Department. For more information about the Latin American Ensemble, e-mail Juan at jmegna@masonlive.gmu.edu.

Spring 2018 Jazz Ensemble Auditions (current Mason students) 

  • Instrumental Audition Piece:
  • Instrumentalists:  Play the melody for one chorus and improvise for two choruses. In addition, there will be sight-reading on the audition. Please bring your own musical accompaniment/backing track for iPod or CD player.
  • Vocalists:  Sing one song of your choice (jazz preferred), sight-read a brief excerpt of a solo musical line and sing a brief tonal melody test. Please bring your own musical accompaniment/backing track for either iPod or CD player.
  • If all audition slots are filled, please e-mail Dr. Darden Purcell.
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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Swing features the Mason Jazz Ensemble, Mason Jazz Combo I, Afro-Cuban Ensemble, Traditional Jazz Ensemble, Steel Pan Ensemble and the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble.  Recorded by CFA Audio Engineer, Billy Kessinger, eighty-six (86) students participated in this project! Purchase at www.cdbaby.com/cd/masonjazz, iTunes, Amazon or e-mail:    dpurcel2@gmu.eduProceeds benefit the Mason Jazz Foundation for scholarships, internships, trips and future recordings.

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Mason Afro-Cuban Ensemble, directed by founder Joe McCarthy, Fall 2015.

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