Jazz orchestra to transform castle into swing club


Jazz studies director Reggie Thomas conducts the NIU Jazz Ensemble while his wife, Mardra Thomas, performs vocals at a Martin Luther King Jr. tribute show Jan. 19. The group performed a protest song by Billie Holiday.

By Jarrett Huff

DeKALB — Dance the night away at Altgeld Hall with the NIU Jazz Orchestra. The orchestra is hosting a “Swing Dance,” turning NIU’s iconic castle into a jazz dance club.

The dance takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the Altgeld Hall Auditorium. The band’s director Reggie Thomas, who also serves as Coordinator of Jazz Studies, welcomes all to enjoy some dance music, appetizers, dessert and punch. Tickets are $20, but students who only want to dance to the music can get tickets for just $7.

The NIU Jazz Orchestra includes NIU students from all over the country. The orchestra is considered one of the best college jazz bands in the world. It’s performed in countries like France and Switzerland. The band has also featured several famous guest musicians over the years, including Phil Collins, Wynton Marsalis, James Moody, David Sanborn and James Morrison.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online.