Presenters: University of Missouri-St. Louis in association with Contemporary Productions
What: 2009 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival
Who: John Pizzarelli Quartet, Jon Faddis, Lou Marini, Peter Erskine, UM-St. Louis Jazz Ensemble directed by Jim Widner
When: Thursday - Saturday, April 16-18, 2009
Where: Touhill Performing Arts Center, One University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121
Information: Visit www.gsljazzfest.com
Cost: FREE clinics and classes during the daytime. Evening concerts are $10-$15-$25
Tickets: Visit www.touhill.org, (314) 516-4949 or toll free (866) 516-4949
St. Louis, Missouri - March 16, 2009 –
As the nation prepares to honor its jazz greats during April's "Jazz Appreciation Month," one leading Midwest educational institution prepares to spotlight its contributions to jazz and inspire the next generation of jazz musicians at the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival from April 16 - 18th.
"This is the only opportunity for St. Louis to attend a jazz festival with legendary musicians from across the country in 2009. What also makes this festival unique is the chance for music students and the community to learn from these jazz greats," said University of Missouri-St. Louis' (UMSL) director of jazz studies and festival artistic director Jim Widner. "The combination of a terrific jazz line- up with the John Pizzarelli Quartet, Peter Erskine, Jon Faddis and Lou Marini paired with the state-of-the-art sound at Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center (TPAC) will certainly provide attendees a great opportunity at a reasonable price to hear America's greatest music, jazz," said Steve Schankman, UMSL alumnus and president of Contemporary Productions, an entertainment booking and special event company.
The University of Missouri-St. Louis will present the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival in association with Contemporary productions. The 45-years-strong UMSL recently received a nod of approval in the form of a $50,000 pledge to its jazz studies program from alumnus Steve Schankman. "With this being the sixth year of the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival and the desire to bring jazz to St. Louis, I want to help professionally and financially to perpetuate jazz in the greater St. Louis region," said UMSL alumnus, presenting co-sponsor and president of Contemporary Productions. UMSL director of jazz studies Jim Widner agrees and goes on to say Schankman's "continuous generosity has gone a long way in helping us give the best education possible to our jazz students and provide a unique learning environment."
A strong part of the festival's success is the opportunities it provides for professional musicians to mentor and nurture jazz students. According to University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) director of jazz studies Jim Widner, "the festival has had an enduring impact not only on young jazz artists but also on established jazz artists and jazz supporters from around the region." One of our nation's leading jazz camp guru's, Jim Widner draws on over 30 years of professional and instructional camp experience.
The festival runs for three days and includes two concerts by professional jazz musicians and students, adjudicated student performances and a series of clinics and master classes at the TPAC on the UMSL campus. Over 750 students representing 45 groups from 33 schools will flock to the festival, in addition to teachers, parents and local jazz enthusiasts. "The interest from participating schools has exceeded our expectations," said jazz studies and artistic director Jim Widner. "As in previous years, we have had to start a waiting list.:
Some of the most recognizable talent talent in jazz celebrate the genre's fundamental components at the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival! Excitement about the nighttime activities are so highly anticipated, that festival staffers warn concert goers to buckle-up the virtual belts on their theater seats. Under UMSL artistic director Jim Widner's leadership, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival will showcase an action-packed collage of sounds guaranteed to stretch your ears.
Evening Performance: Saturday, April 18
John Pizzarelli Quartet + Jon Faddis
With a cool jazz flavor that has made him one of the prime interpreters of the great American song book, headliner John Pizzarelli, known from radio, television and film, will sing classic standards and swing with sublime and inventtive guitar that is sure to win the audience over. Joined by one of the world's greatest jazz trumpeters the same evening, Jon Faddis blows his horn with unbridled power and flawless technique to tunes straight out of Dizzy Gillespie's repertoire. Ticket prices range from $10-$15-$25, and may be purchased at the Touhill Performing Arts Center ticket office by calling (314) 516-4949, toll-free (866) 516- 4949 or online at www.touhill.org.
Evening Performance: Friday, April 17
Lou Marini + Peter Erskine
Experience the essence of Lou Marini from the Blues Brothers, a cultural icon who is widely recognized for his melodic and seductive tenor sax from Saturday Night Live. Witness the colors of his chameleon-like adaptability in jazz, rock, blues and classical. Performing the same evening is two time Grammy ® Award winning drummer Peter Erskine, who is known to deliver sophisticated rhythms from symphonies to solos with versatile drum chops on over 500 albums and film scores. Ticket prices range from $10-$15- $25, and may be purchased at the Touhill Performing Arts Center ticket office by calling (314) 516-4949, toll- free (866) 516-4949 or online at www.touhill.org.
Daytime Clinics + Master Classes: April 16 - 18
The daily schedule includes large ensemble and combo clinics critiqued by world-renowned adjudicators, three master classes and band performances. All daytime band performances, artist clinics and master classes are FREE and open to the public. For a schedule of daytime band performance times, visit www.gsljazzfest.com.
Fort Zumwalt South, Fort Zumwalt West, Fort Zumwalt North, Francis Howell North, Lafayette H.S., North County H.S., Hazelwood East, Parkway Central, Parkway Central Middle, Parkway South, Parkway South Middle, St. Joseph Middle, Warrensburg H.S., Popular Bluff Schools, Hannibal H.S., Reeds Spring H.S., Marquette H.S., DeSmet H.S., Westminister H.S., St. Charles West H.S., Lindbergh H.S., Crestview Middle, Sperreng M.S., Cape Girardeau H.S., Branson H.S., Viburnum H.S., Willard H.S., Genesis Jazz Project, Air National Guard Band of the Central States, Washington University, Meramec Community College, and Western Illinois H.S.
About University of Missouri - St. Louis
One of four universities in the University of Missouri (UM) system, UMSL was established in 1963. It is the youngest university in the UM system and the largest university by enrollment in the St. Louis area. The Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, located on the UMSL campus, provides an extraordinary, world-class venue for faculty and students to showcase their talents and artistic innovation. A cultural classroom for the community, this state-of-the-art performance laboratory is a valued home to St. Louis and Midwest audiences. The Touhill symbolizes the university's commitment to integrate education, innovation and excellence.
The Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival sponsors as of press time are the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Contemporary Productions, and Mozingo Music.
For five (5) years at the UM-St. Louis, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival has brought jazz masters together with middle school, high school and university students to share and celebrate a truly American art form of music. It has featured thousands of students from various states in the Midwest region, as well as over 49 musicians from across the country including Clark Terry, Marilyn Maye, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Buddy DeFranco, Mulgrew Miller, Tom Scott, Shelly Berg and others. For more information about the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, visit www.gsljazzfest.com.