2011 Purdue Jazz Festival premieres new composition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue’s Jazz Festival, featuring the premiere of a Brent Wallarab composition, will help highlight this year’s 125th anniversary of Purdue bands.

Wallarab, a professional trombonist associated with the Indianapolis-based Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, will serve as a guest artist for the festival, which will be Jan. 20-23. A grant from the Indiana Arts Commission helped make the celebration possible. Audiences will hear the Purdue Jazz Band perform it at the Community Jazz Showcase on Jan. 20, and at the Festival Finale concert on Jan. 22.

Brent Wallarab, a professional trombonist associated with the Indianapolis-based Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, will serve as a guest artist for the Purdue Jazz Festival, Jan. 20-23.

The Community Showcase concert also features performances by the Harrison, Jefferson, McCutcheon and West Lafayette high school jazz bands with Wallarab as a guest soloist. It will be at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20, at the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette. Admission is free.

Other headliners for the festival include New York City’s legendary Vanguard Jazz Orchestra at 8 p.m. Jan. 21 in Loeb Playhouse. Since the mid-1960s, this band has been a regular Monday night performer at The Village Vanguard in New York City. The group’s 2009 recording, “Monday Night Live at The Village Vanguard,” won a Grammy Award for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble.

Two other New York musicians — pianist Michael Weiss and saxophonist Dave Pietro — will perform with the Purdue Jazz Band at the Festival Finale concert at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 in Loeb Playhouse. This event also features a performance of the new jazz composition honoring Purdue Bands’ 125th anniversary.

The high school and middle school competition will draw instrumental jazz ensembles from four states. On Jan. 22, 92 big bands and combos will compete in seven locations in Stewart Center, Memorial Union and Pao Hall. The music starts at 8 a.m. and continues through 5 p.m., and is free and open to the public. All the festival guest artists will give clinics, which are also free and open to the public, on Saturday.

Wallarab will lead a group of professional jazz musicians, serving as festival adjudicators, in a Judges’ Jam at noon Jan. 22 in Loeb Playhouse. This is free and open to the public.

Related festival events include a jazz jam led by Purdue musicians at Vienna Espresso, Jan. 21, and a Midwinter Jazz & Swing Dance at Jefferson High School at 3 p.m. Jan. 23.

For complete details visit www.purdue.edu/bands/jazzfest. To purchase tickets for headliner concerts call 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW.

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