JEI Hall of Fame member Al Naylor has mentored and taught thousands of Iowa jazz players. Many of them have followed him into teaching and playing professionally.
Al’s music career began in his home town of Jefferson, Iowa, where his school band was directed by the legendary Jack Oatts, founder of high school jazz in Iowa. He studied at UNI in the heyday of that university’s jazz program, directed by Jim Coffin. He toured nationally with pop and funk bands, including a stint in New York City, before returning to Iowa to finish college and begin his teaching career.
As a companion to a recent series in the Iowa Bandmasters magazine where Al reflects on his long and memorable career, we’re pleased to host some audio highlights of his work.
Jefferson High School 1967-1968
UNI Jazz Band One 1972
1980s – 1990s
Blues for MJ – Original composition performed with UNI Jazz Band One at the 1985 Montreux Jazz Festival
Take Me Out To The Ballgame – Brass arrangement written to play during the 7th-inning stretch for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. This recording has Al on all the parts.
Variety Club Telethon
1991: “A Night in Tunisia,” “Jonny Quest Theme,” & “Nica’s Dream.”
“1992: Day In, Day Out” & When I Fall in Love”
1992: “On Green Dolphin St.” & “Fingers”
How Great Thou Art – arrangement for orchestra and chorus. Performed at First Presbyterian, Cedar Rapids.