Trumpeter, composer, and educator, Jon Ailabouni creates life-affirming music which emphasizes interaction, spontaneity, and creativity. Emerging from both the classical and jazz traditions, Ailabouni’s work freely embraces diverse styles from the Blues to the Avante-garde and from the Caribbean to the Arab world. His improvisation as a soloist has been described as “sharp and resourceful” (AllAboutJazz.com).
Ailabouni's interest in interdisciplinary work has led to multiple large-scale collaborations. In Search of America, dramatizes excerpts from Robert Wolf’s book of the same name and explores American identity through the lens Wolf’s Kerouac-ian youth. Highway 57 with dancer-choreographer Blake Nellis, is an original dance-work which takes a trip of sorts through the things we fear: betrayal, loneliness, death, and speeding tickets. Body of Water, The Invitation Game, and Who Do You Trust? have all been in collaboration with choreographer Jane Hawley. Body of Water was performed at the Iowa Water Conference and explores humanity’s relationship to water through a scientific and artistic lens.
A summa cum laude graduate of Luther College with a degree emphasizing classical trumpet performance, Ailabouni went on to receive a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ailabouni then joined the WMU music faculty, where he taught jazz brass lessons, directed the Jazz Lab Band, and served as co-director of the Western Invitational Jazz Festival. Ailabouni currently serves as an adjunct faculty of music at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where he directs the Jazz Band and jazz combos and teaches courses in jazz theory, arranging and improvisation, as well as studio lessons in trumpet and jazz improvisation.