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Take a listen to new albums

Posted 4:22 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023

Ailabouni’s jazz debut album is musical storytelling 

“You Are Not Alone” is the debut album from trumpeter, composer, and educator Jon Ailabouni, UWL Assistant Teaching Professor of Music. The album features eight of Ailabouni's original compositions and his arrangement of the American folk hymn "What Wondrous Love Is This."

The album speaks to the challenges of our times and offers hope and solace through the cathartic power of music. Ailabouni is joined on the album by saxophonist Simon Harding, pianist Michael Conrad, bassist Karyn Quinn, drummer Chris Jensen, and percussionist Ryan Frost on doumbek. In each piece, the musicians collectively meditate on a specific challenge or theme, such as parenting in the pandemic, the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the human cost of America’s foreign wars or his identity as a Palestinian-American.

“My compositions use the jazz tradition as a vehicle for musical storytelling that is both moving and uplifting, personal and communal,” Ailabouni says.

Album cover for Jon Alaboundi "You Are Not Alone."

About Ailabouni

Ailabouni is an in-demand trumpeter, composer and educator based in La Crosse. At UWL, Ailabouni teaches the trumpet studio and music appreciation classes and directs the Jazz Ensemble and Hoefer Brass Quintet. With a background steeped in Western European classical and Black American jazz traditions, his work focuses on instrumental composition and improvisation that uses deeply felt stories as a focal point for expression. Ailabouni is also a national leader of jazz and liturgical traditions. He regularly serves as a guest worship director, bringing the jazz tradition into familiar hymns and liturgy in churches across the Midwest, Colorado and Texas. He has self-published over 50 arrangements of hymns and an original jazz setting of the liturgy. More on Ailabouni. 

How to get it

Released in May 2023 on SkyDeck Music, the album is available for purchase at Bandcamp and streaming on all platforms. Listen on Spotify.


Borja releases ‘Flute Music from Mexico’ 

Jonathan Borja performing flute music.

Jonathan Borja released a new album, “Flute Music from Mexico,” on the Albany Records Label in July 2023. For this recording, Borja paired up with Mexican pianist, Héctor Landa, associate professor of Piano at UW-Superior.  

The album includes selections for flute and piano by some of Mexico’s most significant composers, such as Arturo Márquez, José Pablo Moncayo, Diana Syrse, Eduardo Gamboa, Juanra Urrusti, Samuel Zyman, and Arturo Rodríguez, who will be the featured guest artist at the La Crosse New Music Festival in November 2023.  

Borja worked closely with the composers during the recording process. This recording was made possible through a UWL Faculty Research Grant and a College of Arts Social Sciences and Humanities (CASSH) Small Grant. 

About Borja 

Borja enjoys a varied career as a performer and educator. In addition to teaching at UWL, he is a member of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra. He holds degrees from the UMKC Conservatory of Music, Principia College, and the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City.   

How to get it

The album is available both as a CD and digitally on all platforms. Find it at Bandcamp. Listen on Spotify.  


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