The KU School of Music is pleased to present the 34th Annual KU Jazz Festival on March 4-5, 2011, featuring notable guest artists Christian McBride (bassist) and Dick Oatts (saxophonist).
For three decades, the KU Jazz Festival has been one of the focal points for jazz performance and education in the central United States. The festival has provided the region with an opportunity to hear and learn from world-class jazz musicians and educators. Evening concerts feature a first-rate lineup of some of the most important and exciting musicians in the world of contemporary jazz, and daytime clinics and master classes with these and other artists allow students and community members to interact with these musicians outside of the concert hall.
Evening concerts are open to the general public. On Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Free State High School Auditorium, saxophonist Dick Oatts will be featured with the KU Jazz Festival All-Star Big Band. Oatts is one of the foremost saxophonists in contemporary jazz, having performed and recorded for many years with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra (now the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra) along with smaller groups with Bob Brookmeyer, Fred Hersch, Red Rodney and many others. The concert will open with Free State High School Jazz Ensemble I and the chosen Outstanding High School Ensemble.
Saturday, March 5 features bassist Christian McBride in concert with KU Jazz Ensemble I, also at Free State High School Auditorium at 7:30. McBride has become one of the most important figures in the jazz world over the past 20 years, working with artists such as Chick Corea, Diana Krall, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny and others. He has also collaborated extensively with Sting, Carly Simon, Queen Latifah and Kathleen Battle, to name a few. The concert will open with KU Jazz Combo I under the direction of Dan Gailey, and the chosen Outstanding College Ensemble.
The Friday and Saturday evening concerts will begin again this year with the Outstanding High School Ensemble (Friday) and the Outstanding College Ensemble (Saturday). During the day, approximately 40 high school, middle school and college jazz ensembles from throughout the central United States perform in Murphy Hall. Based on performance merit, visiting clinicians will select one group from the big bands and combos that perform each day to perform again on the evening concert. Revolving trophies will be presented to the middle school, high school and college outstanding ensembles. These trophies will stay with the recipients until next year's KU Jazz Festival, when they will be presented once again to the 2012 Outstanding Ensembles. In addition, this year's Outstanding College Ensemble will receive a $1,500 award. Trophies and awards are being made possible through the generous support of Reach Out Kansas, Inc., a major sponsor of the festival.
Each evening concert is $15/general admission and $10/students and seniors. All seats are general admission and may be purchased by cash or check only. Tickets may be reserved in advance by calling 785-864-6367.
For additional information about the Jazz Festival visit kujazzfestival.com, or contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436.