MARQUETTE – Nearly 20 high school bands from Michigan and Wisconsin have registered to participate in the 10th annual Northern Michigan University Jazz Festival scheduled for Thursday and Friday, April 20 and 21. The event includes concerts both nights, in addition to workshops and clinics.
Bob Mintzer is the headlining artist at this year’s festival. A world-renowned composer, arranger and educator, he specializes in the tenor and soprano saxophones. Mintzer has been nominated for 13 Grammy awards for his solo and ensemble work.
“I couldn’t be happier with the Jazz Festival this year,” said Mark Flaherty, director of the NMU jazz band. “We have twice as many high school bands registered in comparison to previous years, and we’re featuring a number of outstanding guest artists and clinicians. It should be a great couple of days.”
The festivities will begin on Thursday, April 20 at 8 p.m. in Reynolds Recital Hall with a concert featuring the NMU faculty and friends combo along with numerous festival clinicians and adjudicators.
From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, the high school bands will perform for the adjudicators and clinicians in Jamrich Hall rooms 102 and 103. Each band will play for 20 minutes, and they will spend an additional 20 minutes working with a clinician. Throughout the day, a variety of jazz workshops will also be presented in Reynolds Recital Hall by various guest artists/clinicians, including Mintzer, Kelly Rossum, Dave Ziegner, and Kirsten Gustafson.
Originally from Minnesota, Rossum is a trumpet player and jazz coordinator at MacPhil Center for Music in Minneapolis. He has recently released two solo CDs.
Ziegner is a Michigan native who lived in San Francisco for several years before moving to the Upper Peninsula. He is a founding member of the Finnish reggae band Conga Se Menne, and is also bandleader for the Latin jazz group Combo Caliente.
Gustafson, a Marquette resident, is a vocalist who has performed throughout the United States and Europe. She has recorded two albums and toured nationally with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra.
All of these artists will be featured with the NMU jazz combo and the NMU jazz band in the gala jazz festival concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at Kaufman Auditorium.
Tickets for this concert are $1 for NMU students with ID, $6 for non-NMU students, and $10 for the general public. All other Jazz Festival events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the NMU department of music at 227-2563.