Xavier's jazz ensemble is holding its 25th anniversary reunion weekend on Friday, April 18, in Ryan’s Pub. The group is playing two sets, from 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. and 8:50 p.m.-9:40 p.m. The ensemble is also playing a concert on Sunday, April 20, at 8:15 p.m. in Long Recital Hall. All alumni of the ensemble are encouraged to attend and revisit great times.
The ensemble has released five CDs in the last decade —the only collegiate band to do so. Their last, "Sweet Love," was a tribute to local jazz legend Oscar Treadwell, who died in April 2006. He was their most ardent promoter. Their next CD, "Make Me Smile," is being recorded in April and is due out later this year.
John DeFoor, director for jazz studies at Xavier, has been a performer, arranger, composer, critic, writer, historian, conductor and educator since the 1950s. He played and arranged for bands including Billy May, Woody Herman, Les Brown and Harry James. He has taught at Xavier since 1983, where he has been the principal designer of Jazz Agenda, Jazz Minor and the director for the Xavier jazz ensemble while continuing to participate, professionally and academically, in the development of contemporary idioms of jazz, blues, rock, funk and fusion. DeFoor has led his band, Rara Avis, at the NFL commissioner’s annual pre-Super Bowl party since Super Bowl XI in 1977.