Latin American Ensemble

The Mason Latin American Ensemble, directed by Dr. 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.

The LAE is honored to have been awarded “Latin Group, Graduate College – Outstanding Performances” for 3 years in a row (2019, 2020, 2021) in the DownBeat Student Music Awards! Congratulations to our students and director, Juan Megna!

Spring 2022 Concerts

  • April 26, 8pm & 10pm:  Mason Latin American Ensemble and NOVA Big Band perform Blues Alley! Ticket information coming soon!
  • April 30, 8pm:  International Jazz Day (Center for the Arts) Purchase Tickets:  cfa.calendar.gmu.edu/international-jazz-day/
  • May 4, 8pm:  Steel Pan Ensemble/Braddock Road Brass Band/Latin American Ensemble (De Laski 3001) – Directors, Victor Provost, Graham Breedlove, Juan Megna – free and open to the public

(International Jazz Day Poster by Juana Medina Rosas, Assistant Professor, Mason School of Art) 

 

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

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