Jazz is a little bit rebellious, at least according to Nate Herring, a junior physics major from Grimes who plays the sax. “It’s extremely expressive,” he says. “There’s an emphasis on improv and creativity.”

That sense of play could explain why this auditioned 20-piece band is always the life of the party. “It’s so much fun to be a part of the group and to get to know the people,” says Kylie Sampson, a senior elementary education major from Story City. One of her favorite memories was the band’s tour to Chicago last year.

Herring’s favorite tour was in Merida, Mexico. “We got to touch people from a different culture with our music,” he says.

Director Gabriel Espinosa, associate professor of music, says the band has a great time wherever they perform. “Everybody enjoys what we play,” he says. “We try to find a repertoire that is good for everybody.”

Don’t let the good times fool you, though. Jazz band challenges its members musically, pushing them to experiment and stretch what they’re capable of. “You should know there’s a lot expected of you,” says Herring. “But the hard work pays off, and it changes your Central College experience.”