Jazz Festival


  • Categories: Jazz
  • Event posted: Feb. 14, 2013
  • Last updated: Sept. 16, 2014

Event details

The KU School of Music is pleased to present the 36th Annual KU Jazz Festival on March 1-2, 2013, featuring notable guest artists Bob Sheppard, saxophone, and Kurt Rosenwinkel, guitar. Both concerts will be held at Free State High School Auditorium in Lawrence at 7:30 pm and are open to the general public.

For more than 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. Daytime clinics and master classes allow students and community members to interact with world-famous jazz musicians outside of the concert hall.

On Friday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Free State High School Auditorium, saxophonist Bob Sheppard will be featured with the KU Jazz Festival All-Star Big Band. Sheppard is one of the most highly-acclaimed saxophonists in contemporary music, having performed and recorded with Chick Corea, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and many others. The Jazz Festival All-Star Big Band features KU School of Music faculty, along with some of the nation's finest jazz educators and prominent musicians from the Kansas City jazz community. The concert will open with Free State High School Jazz Ensemble I and the festival's chosen Outstanding High School Ensemble from the daytime performances.

The concert on Saturday, March 2nd features guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel with KU Jazz Ensemble I, under the direction of Dan Gailey, director of jazz studies at KU. Rosenwinkel is acclaimed as a guitar virtuoso who has become a singular voice in modern jazz and one of the most influential musicians of his generation. He has performed and recorded with Brad Mehldau, Paul Motian, Chris Potter, Brian Blade and Joshua Redman, among others. The performance will include new big band arrangements of Rosenwinkel's music written by KU Jazz Studies faculty, students and alumni. The concert will open with KU Combo 1 and the KU Jazz Singers, and the festival's chosen Outstanding College Ensemble.

Each day during the festival, approximately 50 high school, middle school and college jazz ensembles from the central United States perform in Murphy Hall. Based on performance merit, visiting clinicians will select two groups from the big bands and combos that perform each day to perform again on the evening concert. The Outstanding High School Ensemble will begin the Friday evening concert and the Outstanding College Ensemble will take the stage on Saturday evening. 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 2014 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.

KU Jazz Festival After Hours will be held at the Oread in the All Seasons Den following the evening concerts from 10:00 pm-12:30 am both evenings. Admission is free; a cash bar is available.


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