Fri, May 19|
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 19, 2023, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, Suite 135, South Bend, IN 46617, USA
About the Event
Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2021 and 2021-2022 season). 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.
Our Touring Student Performance Series presents IRIS, is composed of Arman Sangalang, Kirby Fellis, Austyn Menk, and Morgan Turner, with a rotating drum chair. The group was formed out of four peers’ mutual desire to fuse jazz subgenres, such as hard bop and post bop, with a modern aesthetic. Inspired by their wide range of influences, like Mulgrew Miller, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, and Walter Smith III, their compositions aim to search for life’s answers through music.
The members of the quintet have worked with esteemed musicians including Reginald Thomas, Bobby Broom, Brian Lynch, and Etienne Charles, among many others. In 2022, IRIS was one of four ensembles selected to attend the JAS Academy in Snowmass, Colorado. The band members’ compositions seek to preserve the tradition of jazz while exploring each individual’s experiences as musicians. Their upcoming EP (expected 2023) pays homage to their influences.
Arman Sangalang - saxophone
Austyn Menk - piano
Kirby Fellis - trombone
Paul Barrilles - drums
Morgan Turner - bass
“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
Saxophonist and composer Arman Sangalang has been garnering attention as one of the up-and-coming jazz musicians in the Chicago music scene. As a bandleader, he currently leads the Arman Sangalang Quartet which feature his compositions that are informed by jazz, folk, and improvised music. Arman has also received various accolades in the last few years. In 2022, IRIS, a quintet led by Arman, was one of four groups across the U.S. selected for the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Academy. Arman is also the 2022 awardee of the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Jazz Links Fellowship program which provides young up and coming artists mentorship and performance opportunities in Chicago.
Kirby Fellis is a captivating Chicago based Jazz trombonist, educator, and composer. He is insightful, passionate, & spontaneous, yet boisterous. His music is reflective of his Caribbean-American roots & embraces the essence of his life from the pain and sadness of losing his father at the age of four to the gratitude & passion of being able to perform at events such as Detroit Jazz Festival & Monterey Jazz Festival. Kirby is determined to give back to the community that gave to him. He reflects on the traits instilled by his mother: sacrifice, discipline,& a dream big attitude. During his Studio and Masterclasses, his main focus is to build each student on and off the stage. Citing the fundamentals for his success, Kirby understands that it is not your talent level that will help you achieve success, but your discipline, and work ethic!
Austyn Vaughn Menk is a pianist, organist, composer, arranger, and educator from Le Center, Minnesota currently based outside of Chicago, Illinois. After completing his B.A. in Music at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, Austyn began studying jazz piano under Reginald Thomas at Northern Illinois University. He is pursuing his master's degree in Jazz Studies at NIU, where he also teaches lessons and works as an assistant in the Large Ensemble Office. Beginning in fall semester 2022, Austyn is also a graduate assistant at NIU, teaching an introductory group piano course and directing the University Jazz Ensemble. In his teaching, Austyn emphasizes playing healthily and mindfully as well as practicing technical exercises creatively and intentionally to inform the mind and music, a combination of approaches inspired by his former instructors Paul Baumgartner and Masayoshi Ishikawa.
Morgan Turner is a bassist and composer currently living in Chicago, IL. On the bass, she strives to play in an interactive and engaging way, while still maintaining the consistency necessary from the bassist. She has studied with many notable Chicago bassists, including Marlene Rosenberg, Ethan Philion, and Jeremy Attanaseo. In her compositions, Morgan is inspired by what makes us human, and the experiences that make us who we are, and she tries to convey this through her writing. In Summer of 2022, Morgan, as a member of the group IRIS, was selected to participate in Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Jazz Academy small group session in Aspen, CO. Recently, she was selected to be a part of the 2022-2023 Mentee class for the Women in Jazz Organization, giving her the opportunity to be mentored by Ayn Inserto in composition.
Paul Barrilles Using his sticks and his imagination, Paul can blend together a variety of musical genres to fit into any style he is playing in the moment. He has performed with many bands playing different genres from jazz, folk, rock, funk, and R&B. He graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2016 with a jazz studies degree. Now attending DePaul University, Paul is studying with esteemed jazz drummer and ethnomusicologist, Dana Hall. Paul has shared the stage with artists such as Lenard Simpson, Adam Larson, Reggie Thomas, Geof Bradfield, Art Davis, Kavi Naidu, Foster and the Fellowship, Disconnect Reconnect, and Fareed Haque.
General Advanced or Door$10.00
Student Discount - College students please have ID.$5.00