Latin American Ensemble

The Mason Latin American Ensemble, directed by Doctor of Musical Arts 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.

Mason Jazz in Brazil! March 2020, Mason Jazz will travel to São Paulo, Brazil for educational outreach events and performances at UNICAMP, Projeto GURI and musical venues. Learn more about this program: Mason Jazz in Brazil

CONCERTS – Spring 2020

  • Mason Jazz Festival: Saturday, FEB 29, All day (Harris Theatre) Schedule and Registration:
  • Latin American Ensemble Global Discovery Trip to Brazil:  Friday, MAR 6 – Sunday, MAR 15th. (Performances and workshops at UNICAMP, Projeto GURI and more! Details TBD) 
  • Friends of Music Brazilian Dinner:   Sunday, MAR 22, Time TBD (Monson Grand Tier) 
  • Jazz Combos/Latin American Ensemble:  Wed. APR 8, 8pm (de Laski 3001) 
  • Big Band Jam:  Sat. APR 25, time tbd (Sylvan Theatre, Washington DC) 

DEPARTMENTAL CONCERTS – 12:30PM (Harris Theatre, free and open to the public) 

  • Latin American Ensemble: Wed. FEB 19


  • Maria Schneider:  Early April – Day/Time TBD

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

The Mason Latin American Ensemble, Fall 2018. Photo by Suzette Niess.