MAILED: March 19, 2001
In its 34th year, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claires 2001 Jazz Festival is still going strong. The annual three-day festival is among the nations largest and longest-running jazz festivals, yet there is never a dull moment.
Jazz Festival will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in Zorn Arena with a concert by Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble, a military band of 18 whose repertoire ranges from traditional big band and swing to modern jazz. The Chicago Tribune has called them one of the best military bands in the world.
This years featured artists include Ingrid Jensen and Lewis Nash. Jensen is a trumpet player with a vision: to communicate her truth as she discovers and lives it. Her newest album, Vernal Fields, won Canadas Juno Award as Best Mainstream Album of 1995. Nashs debut album titled Rhythm Is My Business was released in the early 1990s. He also has worked with many other musicians, including Betty Carter, Bette Midler and Nicholas Payton.
Drummer Nash and trumpet artist Jensen are two of the most recognized figures in the forefront of the jazz scene today, said Robert Baca, associate professor of music and theatre arts and Jazz Festival director. Theyre young lions and will help to enrich an already first-class festival.
The festival will continue Friday, March 30, with College Day, which consists of critiqued performances, clinics and master classes with the guest artists. Participants can attend a noon concert in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center featuring the Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble.
A concert also will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial High Schools auditorium featuring UW-Eau Claires Jazz Ensemble I, Honor College Big Band and Combo and guest artists Jensen and Nash. A pre-concert show will begin at 7 p.m. and an open jam session will follow the concert at 10 p.m. at Cameos Restaurant, Eau Claire. Both will feature Apex, a jazz quintet from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Junior High/High School Day will be held Saturday, March 31. The schedule is similar to College Day and includes a noon concert in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center and a 4:30 p.m. concert in Zorn Arena for the high school participants. The junior high participants can attend a 12:30 p.m. concert featuring UW-Eau Claires Jazz Ensemble II.
A 7 p.m. concert in Memorial High Schools auditorium will feature Nash and Jensen, UW-Eau Claires Jazz Ensemble I, Honor High School Big Band and Combo, and Honor Junior High School Big Band and Combo. There will be a pre-concert show at 6:30 p.m.
Events during the day are free and open to the public. Tickets for the evening concerts are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for those age 62 and older and 17 and younger, as well as students, faculty and staff with a university ID.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: March 25, 2001