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Paul Lichty Jazz Orchestra
"Dark Soul" 

Album information


  • Saxes/reeds: Gabe Scheid, Sam Bills, Nolan Schroeder, Simon Harding, Thomas Sparks

  • Trumpets: Colton Whetstone, Antonio Garza, Rishi Kolusu, Kyle Marlin

  • Trombones: Brian Crew, Michael Conrad, Collin Krukow, Tom Rauch

  • Rhythm: Elvis Phillips (guitar), Jarrett Purdy (piano/rhodes), Bridget Shoemaker (bass), Christopher Jensen (drums)

  • Special guests: Dave Rezek (trumpet), Ryan Garmoe (trumpet), Blake Shaw (bass), Rachel Bearinger (vocals), Donovan Klutho (tuba)

Composer/arranger/conductor: Paul Lichty

Engineering: Tom Barry

Mixed and mastered: Dave Lisik

Album artwork: Clayton Ryan


Genre: Contemporary big band/jazz

Influences: Bob Brookmeyer, Kenny Wheeler, Charles Mingus, Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely, Dave Douglas, Darcy James Argue

Band Bio


The Paul Lichty Jazz Orchestra (PLJO) is a 18-piece large jazz ensemble comprised of many of Iowa’s finest musicians who perform Paul’s original compositions and arrangements exclusively. Formed in 2017, the band has performed in various venues across the state, frequently selling out shows at Noce since Paul relocated to Des Moines in 2020. Notable musicians that have been featured in the band include UNI faculty Christopher Merz, Michael Conrad, and Anthony Williams; Iowa City’s Blake Shaw, Nolan Schroeder, Jarrett Purdy, Chris Jensen, and Marvin Truong, and Des Moines’ Dave Rezek, Jackson Churchill, Antonio Garza, Gabe Scheid, Alayna Ringsby, and Rishi Kolusu.

Since his first composition lessons with Chris Merz and Bob Washut back in 2014, Paul has developed a unique and personal approach at composing for large ensembles. His compositions consist of many clever twists and turns on numerous different styles of music and are heavily biographical in nature. Paul’s music been described by his colleagues and teachers as “sonic landscapes, rich in groove and development, that are high energy, aggressive, humorous (or outright hilarious!), and full of heart, finding the extremely fine line between calm and chaos... his music is truly a reflection of himself.”

In June of 2019, PLJO recorded their debut album, “Dark Soul.” This record, completely crowdfunded with financial support from over 60 donors, includes seven original compositions and one arrangement of Paul’s. The charts from “Dark Soul” are inspired by various unique life experiences, ranging from the shenanigans of a college house party, the bewilderment of watching the 2016 presidential debates, and his adventures on various dating apps. “Dark Soul” can be heard on all streaming platforms and available for purchase on Bandcamp.

In addition to writing for PLJO, Paul is an active freelance composer, arranger, and trombonist. Almost every ensemble that he performs with regularly performs his compositions or arrangements. Paul has arranged music for contemporary jazz giants Kurt Rosenwinkel and Ben Wendel in addition to contributing music for Michael Conrad’s new project, the Iowa Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, an elite ensemble that performs works by Iowa composers. As music director for the band BYOBrass, Paul regularly contributes compositions and arrangements which have helped develop and refine the band’s unique approach to the brass band medium. Other recent commissions include works for Heath Alan, Jeff Kane (NOLA Jazz Band), Dr. Robert Washut (UNI Jazz Panthers), Lucas Petersen (Purdue University and Winterset High School), and Brad Jensen (Hudson High School).

Live performances of PLJO can be found at this Youtube playlist.

For more information, visit:
Paul’s full bio

YouTube channel



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