Equilateral is Iowa’s premier, all–original quartet. Rooted in the history and influences of American Jazz, Equilateral does not define itself as a “jazz quartet”, but rather a band that incorporates swing and be–bop, while implementing: funk, ska, blues, and world rhythms–with all compositions coming directly from each member.
Equilateral is comprised of Chris Merz (saxes), Brent Sandy (trumpet), Greg Mazunik (bass) and Eric Thompson (drums).
Merz and Sandy have worked together extensively since 2000, when Merz returned to Iowa to take a teaching position at the University of Northern Iowa. The current lineup came together in the fall of 2008, upon Sandy’s return from a stint in Corfu, Greece. Mazunik has freelanced around the Iowa City area for the past 10 years. Thompson joined the group upon returning from New York City, where he lived and worked following graduation from NEC (Boston).
The ensemble has no chording instrument, giving freedom to their improvisations while allowing them to use forms, textures and harmonies to their advantage. Also, they look really cool onstage. The band has recorded three compact discs: Also Not Pictured… (2002); …And Another Thing (2009); and Loud and Dark (2012).
Individually, the members of Equilateral have won many awards including: several DownBeat awards, Outstanding Soloist at MusicFest USA, outstanding soloist at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival, Punt Pass & Kick (third place), Best Costume, Beer Tasting (champion), Best Camper, and the Junior Miss avant-garde jazz soloist.
The members of Equilateral have played with: Billy Taylor, Dave Brubeck, Darius Brubeck, Chris Brubeck, Danny Brubeck, Steve Swallow, Carla Bley, Donnie McCaslin, Guaranteed Swahili, Steve McCraven, the Jeff Holmes Big Band, New England Jazz Ensemble, Orquesta Alto Maiz, Bob Washut, John Rapson, Steve Grismore, and Sam Salomone. They have performed at festivals including: Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Ozone Festival (Neuchatel, Switzerland), Iowa City (IA) Jazz Festival, Guiness Jazz Festival (Johannesburg, South Africa), Bright Moments Festival (Amherst, MA).