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Sat, May 25


Merrimans' Playhouse


Album release tour - IRIS aspires to craft captivating musical narratives. The band members’ compositions seek to preserve the tradition of jazz while exploring each individual’s experiences as musicians. emphasizing individual expression with a collaborative spirit.


Time & Location

May 25, 2024, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, Suite 135, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $12 General/$6 Student. Concert is one long set. End time is approximately 9:00 pm.

Our Touring Student Performance Series presents IRIS. Born out of five peers’ mutual desire to fuse jazz’s historic subgenres such as hard bop and post-bop, Chicago-based jazz collective IRIS releases their self-titled debut on Shifting Paradigm Records on May 3rd, 2024. Initially the brainchild of saxophonist Arman Sangalang, the band features trombonist Kirby Fellis, pianist Austyn Menk, bassist Morgan Turner and drummer Paul Barrilles.

Arman Sangalang - saxophone

Austyn Menk -  piano

Kirby Fellis - trombone

Paul Barrilles - drums

Morgan Turner - bass



Video Links:

What is This Thing Called Love?

Beyond the Wall


“IRIS is a special ensemble—while each individual has a singular voice on their instrument, they work hard to create a sound that’s deeply rooted

in the blues.” – Lenard Simpson III, Chicago Alto Saxophonist

“IRIS navigates the jazz tradition with buoyant swing, crisp ensemble passages, and soulful sounds deeply informed by the blues.” – Geof Bradfield, Chicago Saxophonist & Composer

“IRIS brings depth, fire, and humor to the stage.” – Etienne Charles, Guggenheim Fellow & Trumpeter

The music from IRIS is a product of their memorable experience from the highly esteemed Jazz Aspen Snowmass Academy in Colorado. As one of four groups from across the country selected to attend, the program allowed IRIS to immerse themselves in the teachings of renowned artists like Etienne Charles, Brian Lynch, and Chuck Bergeron. Upon returning to Chicago, the group continued to develop their sound, touring across the Midwest to venues like Cliff Bell’s (MI), Jazz Central Studios (MN), Merriman’s Playhouse (IN), and Andy’s Jazz Club (IL). Fresh off their 2023 spring tour, the band headed into the studio and recorded at Kiwi Audio. The result is described as “a beautiful representation of jazz music in its current attire,” by guitar virtuoso Bobby Broom.

Saxophonist and composer Arman Sangalang has been garnering attention as an up-and-coming jazz musician in the Chicago music scene. He has performed at major festivals including the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Clifford Brown Jazz Festival and Chicago Jazz Festival. Arman’s debut record “Quartet” featuring Dave Miller, Matt Ulery and Devin Drobka was released on Calligram Records in August 2023.

A captivating Chicago-based trombonist, educator and composer, Kirby Fellis has a passion and gratitude for music that has allowed him to perform at venues such as DePauw Jazz Festival and Chicago Jazz Festival. Kirby has played with many great artists including Kurt Elling, Darius Rucker, Terrell Stafford, and Etienne Charles. Kirby is currently on faculty as the Jazz Ensemble Director at Harper College.

Austyn Vaughn Menk is a pianist, organist, composer, and educator from Le Center, Minnesota currently living outside of Chicago, Illinois. A former student of Prof. Reggie Thomas and Dr. Masayoshi Ishikawa, Austyn has had the great privilege of playing with artists including Mardra Thomas, Lenard Simpson, Guy King, Tatum Langley, and the Blueshift Big Band. Austyn currently serves on staff at Northern Illinois University as Music Admissions Coordinator.

Morgan Turner is a Chicago-based bassist and composer. She received her Bachelor of Music from Northern Illinois University, where she had the opportunity to study privately with professors Marlene Rosenberg, Geof Bradfield, and Bobby Broom. Morgan was selected to be a part of the Women in Jazz Organization 2023 mentorship program, during which she was mentored by composer Ayn Inserto.

Paul Barrilles is a professional jazz musician based in Chicago. He can be found playing with notable jazz musicians including Adam Larson, Geof Bradfield, Clark Sommers, Julius Tucker, and Ethan Philion. Barrilles holds degrees in jazz studies from Northern Illinois University (BM) and DePaul University (MM). In addition, Barrilles has studied with today’s master drummers such as Kenny Washington, Gregory Hutchinson, Dana Hall, and Kendrick Scott.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services Private Trust Foundations, which include grants from the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation (2020-2021; 2022-2023 seasons), the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation (2021-2022; 2022-2023 seasons), and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust (2021-2022; 2022-2023; 2023-2024 seasons). Special concert event support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season). Activities are made possible in part by the Arts Organization Support (AOS), Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency (2023-2024 season).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2023 seasons). The Student and Home Grown Series concerts made possible, in part, with support from the ArtsEverywhere Grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, and the Arts Project Support Grant and the Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.


  • Student

    $6 Student/Discount

  • General

    $12 Advanced or Door




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