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2011 Purdue Jazz Festival premieres new jazz composition
A celebration of 125 years of bands on Purdue’s campus occurs in 2011, the Purdue Jazz Festival will mark that milestone with the premiere a new Brent Wallarab jazz composition at two of the festival’s concerts.
Wallarab, a professional trombonist associated with the Indianapolis-based Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, serves as Guest Artist for the festival. A grant from the Indiana Arts Commission helped make the commissioning of the celebratory work possible. Audiences will hear the Purdue Jazz Band perform it at the Community Jazz Showcase on Thursday, Jan. 20, and at the Festival Finale concert on Saturday, Jan. 22.
The Community Showcase concert also features performances by Harrison, Jefferson, McCutcheon and West Lafayette High School Jazz Bands with Wallarab as a guest soloist. It begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, at the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette. Admission is free.
Other headliners for the Festival include the New York City’s legendary Vanguard Jazz Orchestra at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, in Loeb Playhouse. Since the mid 1960s, this band has been a regular Monday night performer at The Village Vanguard in New York City. In 2009 their newest recording Monday Night Live at The Village Vanguard won the band a Grammy Award for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble.
Two other New York musicians, pianist Michael Weiss and saxophonist Dave Pietro will perform the Purdue Jazz Band at the Festival Finale concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, in Loeb Playhouse. It also features a performance of the new jazz composition honoring Purdue Bands’ 125th anniversary.
The heart of the Festival lies in the high school and middle school competition which draws instrumental jazz ensembles from four states. On Saturday, Jan. 22, 92 big bands and combos will compete throughout the day in seven locations in the Purdue Stewart Center, Purdue Memorial Union and Pao Hall on Purdue’s campus. The music starts at 8 a.m. and continues through 5 p.m. It’s all free. All the festival guest artists will give clinics which are also free and open to the public on Saturday.
This year’s artist-in-residence, Brent Wallarab will lead a group of professional jazz musicians, serving as festival adjudicators, in a Judges’ Jam at noon Saturday, Jan. 22 in Loeb Playhouse that’s free and open the community.
Related festival events include a jazz jam led by Purdue musicians at Vienna Espresso, Jan. 21, and a Midwinter Jazz & Swing Dance at Jefferson High School at 3 p.m. Jan. 23.For complete details visit www.purdue.edu/bands/jazzfest To purchase tickets for headliner concerts call 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW.
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