Purdue Jazz Festival offers five days of jazz
Monday, January 14, 2008
In its 18th year the Purdue Jazz Festival fills Greater Lafayette with live jazz for five full days beginning Wednesday, Jan. 16 and continuing through Sunday, Jan. 20. Jazz jams in local restaurants, headliner concerts, competitions, clinics, a jazz church service and a dance are among the festival’s varied offerings.
New to the line-up this year is the Community Jazz Showcase on Jan. 17 that’s funded with a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. For the first time ever, Tippecanoe County’s three high school jazz bands - Jefferson, Harrison and McCutcheon – will appear on the same stage. The Purdue Jazz Band will also be featured in the free event set for 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Long Center. Alto saxophonist Ron Jones from Louisville will perform as a guest artist with each band.
Jones is just one of many musicians coming from around the Midwest and the nation to perform and offer workshops during the festival. Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble have already sold-out Loeb Playhouse for the Friday, Jan. 18, headliner concert.
Tickets are still available for the second headliner concert on Jan. 19 in Loeb Playhouse which features the Purdue Jazz Band with Los Angeles alto saxman Eric Marienthal, a former member of the Chick Corea’s Elektric Band, and internationally-known drummer Steve Houghton, who made his name with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd.
Festival Director Mo Trout picked Ron Jones, whom he describes as “one of the finest “straight-ahead” alto saxophone players you’ll ever hear,” and the Ron Jones Quartet to serve as the festival’s artists-in-residence. While Jones will perform as a soloist at the Community Showcase, his whole quartet will be in the spotlight at the Boiler Market on Wednesday, Jan. 16, and the public is invited to attend a free noon concert by the Ron Jones Quartet in Loeb Playhouse on Saturday, Jan. 19 that coincides with the high school and middle school jazz competitions going on that day. The quartet will visit local high schools to work directly with students during their stay.
More than 85 big bands and combos from 48 schools in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky will compete on Jan. 19 in seven venues located in the Purdue Memorial Union, the Purdue Stewart Center and University Church. Performances at the various venues start at 8:30 a.m. and continues through 5 p.m. Admission is free. All the festival guest artists will give clinics which are also free and open to the public on Saturday.
Related festival events include a jazz jam led by Purdue musicians at Vienna Espresso, Jan. 18; a jazz church service at University Church at 11 a.m. Jan. 20; and a Midwinter Jazz & Swing Dance at Jefferson High School at 3 p.m. Jan. 20.
For more information on Purdue Jazz Festival events, visit www.purdue.edu/bands/jazzfest or contact Purdue Bands Public Relations Director Kathy Matter at (765) 496-6785. To purchase tickets for headliner concerts call 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW.
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