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Purdue Jazz Festival to offer five days of jazz | Arts + Entertainment | Lafayette Online
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Purdue Jazz Festival to offer five days of jazz

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — In its 18th year, the Purdue Jazz Festival will fill Greater Lafayette with live jazz for five full days beginning Wednesday (Jan. 16) and continuing through Sunday (Jan. 20).

Jazz jams in local restaurants, headliner concerts, competitions, clinics, a jazz church service and a dance are among the festival’s offerings.

New to the line-up this year is the Community Jazz Showcase at 8 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 17) that’s funded with a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. For the first time ever, Tippecanoe County’s three high school jazz bands – from Jefferson, Harrison and McCutcheon – will appear on the same stage.

The Purdue Jazz Band also will be featured in this free event at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette. Alto saxophonist Ron Jones from Louisville, Ky., will perform as a guest artist with each band.

Jones is just one of many musicians coming from around the Midwest and the nation to perform and offer workshops during the festival. Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble have already sold-out Loeb Playhouse for the 8 p.m. Friday (Jan. 18) headliner concert.

Tickets are still available for the second headliner concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 19) in Loeb Playhouse. It will feature the Purdue Jazz Band with Los Angeles alto saxophone player Eric Marienthal, a former member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band, and internationally known drummer Steve Houghton, who made his name with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd.

Festival director Mo Trout picked Ron Jones, whom he described as “one of the finest “straight-ahead” alto saxophone players you’ll ever hear,” and the Ron Jones Quartet to serve as the festival’s artists-in-residence.

While Jones will perform as a soloist at the Community Showcase, his whole quartet will be in the spotlight for a free concert at Boiler Market from 8:30-10 p.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 16). The public also is invited to attend a free concert by the Ron Jones Quartet at noon on Saturday (Jan. 19) in Loeb Playhouse that coincides with the high school and middle school jazz competitions going on that day. The quartet also will visit local high schools to work directly with students during their stay.

More than 85 big bands and combos from 48 schools in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky will compete on Saturday (Jan. 19) in seven venues located in the Purdue Memorial Union, Purdue Stewart Center and University Church. Performances at the various venues start at 8:30 a.m. and continue through 5 p.m. Admission is free. All the festival guest artists will give clinics, which also are free and open to the public on Saturday.

Related festival events include a jazz jam from 9:30-11:30 p.m. Friday (Jan. 18) led by Purdue musicians at Vienna Espresso Bar & Bakery, 208 South St., West Lafayette; a jazz church service at University Church at 11 a.m. Sunday (Jan. 20); and a Midwinter Jazz & Swing Dance at 3 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 20) in the auxiliary gym at Jefferson High School.

For information on Purdue Jazz Festival events, visit http://www.purdue.edu/bands/jazzfest or contact Kathy Matter, Purdue Bands public relations director, at (765) 496-6785. To purchase tickets for headliner concerts, call (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW.

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