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KU School of Music presents 35th annual Jazz Festival; nightly free concerts on March 2-3 at Lawrence High School

Monday, February 20, 2012

LAWRENCE-The KU School of Music is pleased to present the 35th Annual KU Jazz Festival on March 2-3, 2012, featuring notable guest artists Donny McCaslin (saxophone) and Alex Sipiagin (trumpet).

For over three decades, the KU Jazz Festival has been one of the focal points for jazz performance and education in the central United States, providing the region 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 allow students and community members to interact with world-famous jazz musicians outside of the concert hall.

Evening concerts are open to the general public. On Friday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Lawrence High School Auditorium, saxophonist Donny McCaslin will be featured with the KU Jazz Festival All-Star Big Band.  McCaslin is one of the most highly-acclaimed saxophonists in contemporary jazz, having performed and recorded with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Gary Burton Quintet, Steps Ahead, Dave Douglas and many others.  The concert will open with Lawrence High School Jazz Ensemble I and the festival's chosen Outstanding High School Ensemble from the daytime performances.

Saturday, March 5 features trumpeter Alex Sipiagin in concert with KU Jazz Ensemble I, under the direction of Dan Gailey, Director of Jazz Studies at KU. This performance also takes place at Lawrence High School Auditorium at 7:30. Sipiagin is acclaimed as a modern jazz trumpet virtuoso and has performed and recorded with Dave Holland, Michael Brecker, the Mingus Big Band, Elvis Costello and Eric Clapton, among others.  The concert will open with KU Jazz Combo I and the KU Jazz Singers, 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 50 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 sponsor of the festival.

Tickets to this year's evening concerts are free, thanks to the generosity of festival sponsors Reach Out Kansas, Inc., The Law Offices of Smithyman & Zakoura – Overland Park, Kansas, and the Zakoura Family Foundation. Advance ticket reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets may be reserved by calling 785-864-3436.

For additional information about the KU Jazz Festival visit http://kujazzfestival.com, or contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436.

School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.