JPBB Group

Submitted photo


The John Paulson Big Band performs at the Winona Arts Center.

Three exciting events are planned to celebrate a decade of performances, workshops, and recordings by the John Paulson Big Band (JPBB). The big band will perform back-to-back anniversary concerts at the beautifully renovated Winona Art Center on February 4 and 5, 2023, in celebration of 10 years since their premiere performance there. In addition to these concerts, saxophonist John Paulson and drummer Rich MacDonald will work with student jazz groups as artists-in-residence at Caledonia High School (CHS) on October 14. On Saturday, October 15, at 7 p.m., a free concert will feature the CHS Jazz Band, directed by JPBB trombonist Dustin Moburg opening for the now 20-piece John Paulson Big Band. Recording the third CD of original big band jazz by Dr. Paulson in March 2023 will mark the final event of the JPBB 2022-23 season. A fall release and special concert are planned.  

In November of 2012, the newly formed John Paulson Big Band blew the roof off the old church that held the Winona Art Center with a standing-room-only concert.

The 2012 concert at the Winona Art Center led to the completion the band’s first CD, “The John Paulson Big Band Project,” and their second CD, “Five Years On,” which includes vocalist and recording artist Ariane Lydon. This CD was recognized as one of the top 10 big band jazz CDs of 2018 by KBEM jazz radio in Minneapolis, Minn.  

The Caledonia residency and Winona Art Center concerts are made possible through grants from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council in cooperation with a private foundation. 

Other performances over the last decade for the big band include the Jazz Educators’ Network Conference in Louisville, Ky., Winona State University, the Page Theatre, and St. Cecilia Theatre in Winona, the Winona County History Center, and various grant-sponsored residencies in southern Minnesota. 

The John Paulson Big Band includes some of the best jazz players and teachers in the region. They are unique in that they perform only original big band jazz, composed and arranged by musical director and saxophonist John Paulson. The music is an exciting mix of contemporary blues, Latin, ballads, funk, and swing with plenty of solo space for the players. For more information as these events get closer, visit