History and Distinction
The Knightliters Jazz Band I was founded in 1959 by Dr. Robert E. Lee, Director of Bands at Wartburg College. Under his direction, the Knightliters issued recordings and toured the United States with the Wartburg Concert Band and Castle Singers. The Band also appeared with Dominick Spera, Howie Smith, Jim Coffin, Thomas L. Davis, and opened for the legendary Count Basie Orchestra. Allan Jacobson, current director, toured with the Knightliters to Washington D.C. as a sophomore in high school as the band’s drummer during the spring of 1969.
Under Mr. Jacobson’s direction for the past 25 years, the band has appeared at the 1988 and 1992 Iowa Bandmaster’s Conventions, participated in the University of Northern Iowa Collegiate Jazz Festival, and given several high school and middle school jazz clinics. From 1998 to 2002 the band toured several areas of the United States and Australia with the Castle Singers. In the spring of 2000, the Knightliters performed as the opening band for the World famous Count Basie Orchestra at a concert in Swea City, Iowa.