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38th Annual Jazz Festival to Begin at UW-Eau Claire March 31

RELEASED: March 21, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — Some of this country's finest jazz musicians will perform at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's 38th Annual Jazz Festival March 31-April 2. The festival will feature Grammy Award-winning composer Maria Schneider, trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling, tenor sax player and improvisation master Jerry Bergonzi, and the Noteables Jazz Ensemble from the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band.

The festival will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31, with a concert titled "Trumpet Kings," featuring Byron Stripling backed by UW-Eau Claire's Jazz Ensemble I. This concert is part of the Artist Series on campus and will be held in Zorn Arena.

Friday, April 1, will begin with college big band and combo performances at 8 a.m. and will continue through the afternoon. Continuing the festival's tradition of excellence with an educational focus, the day includes various clinics led by visiting artists and professionals in respective areas.

Saturday will begin with critiqued performances of high school and middle school combos and big bands from across the Midwest and also will feature workshops and clinics throughout the day. Schneider, who recently won a Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, will present a master class on the topic of composing and arranging at 3:30 p.m., and Jerry Bergonzi, who is well known for his text series "Inside Improvisation," will give a master class at 4:15 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall both Friday and Saturday. All performances, clinics, workshops and master classes during the day are free of charge and open to the public.

Both Friday and Saturday will end with festival concerts featuring Schneider and Bergonzi, as well as the festival's Honor Bands and the nationally recognized UW-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble I. The concerts will be held in the auditorium at Memorial High School, with a pre-concert show starting at 7 p.m. Friday and at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Both evening concerts will begin one half hour after the pre-concerts.

Tickets for Friday and Saturday evening concerts are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. For ticket information for these performances and the Artists Series Concert, call the University Service Center at (715) 836-3727.

For more information about the festival, send e-mail to jazzfest@uwec.edu, or call the festival office at (715) 836-4092. The complete schedule and detailed information about guest artists, adjudicators and clinicians can be found on the Jazz Fest Web site.

-30-

AJ/NW

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