24th Purdue Jazz Festival to kick off today

January 16, 2014  

Jazz Festival

Guest pianist/composer Steve Allee will perform with the Purdue Jazz Band and other ensembles during the 24th annual Purdue Jazz Festival. (Photo provided)
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Purdue University Bands will host more than 90 high school and middle school big bands and jazz combos for a weekend of public concerts, clinics and competition at the 24th annual Purdue Jazz Festival.

Festival events begin Thursday (Jan. 16) with a free Community Showcase Concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette. The concert will feature the Purdue Jazz Band, guest pianist/composer Steve Allee and jazz bands from McCutcheon High School, West Lafayette High School, Lafayette Jefferson High School and Harrison High School.

Allee has performed with Slide Hampton, Buddy Rich, James Moody, Rufus Reid, Antonio Hart, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Sonny Fortune, Dianne Schuur, Tim Hagans and the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and has opened for Bill Evans and Tony Bennett. His CDs include "Colors," "Dragonfly" and the soundtrack to the documentary film "New York in the Fifties."

Allee, the festival's artist in residence, also will be featured in a free concert with tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin and the Purdue Jazz Band at noon Saturday (Jan. 18) in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse. McCaslin has been nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Improvised Solo on his latest album, "Casting for Gravity."

Jazz collective Snarky Puppy will perform at 8 p.m. Friday (Jan. 17) in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse in a concert presented by Purdue Convocations. Limited tickets are available ($26 for adults and $19 for those 18 and younger, Purdue students and Ivy Tech Lafayette students). Tickets are available at the Elliott Hall and Stewart Center box offices at 49-43933 or 800-914-SHOW.

The festival's Finale Concert on Saturday, featuring McCaslin with the Purdue Jazz Band, is sold out.

On Saturday, instrumental jazz ensembles from Indiana and Illinois will compete from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Stewart Center and Purdue Memorial Union. A schedule of the performances, which are free and open to the public, is available here.

Also Saturday, student musicians and all jazz lovers will have the chance to rub shoulders with the festival's guest performers at free clinics that are open to the public. A schedule of clinics is available here.

For more information on Purdue Jazz Festival events, visit www.purdue.edu/bands/jazzfest.

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