Over the last ten years, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival has grown to be one of the most significant jazz festivals in the Midwest. Produced by the University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL), the Touhill Performing Arts Center, and Jazz St. Louis, the 2013 festival runs April 18-20, featuring the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, Doc Severinsen and His Big Band, and Anat Cohen and Matt Wilson.
“This annual celebration of education and performance is the only festival of its kind in St. Louis,” said Jim Widner, director of the Jazz Studies program at UMSL and artistic director of the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival. “That is because in addition to celebrating professional jazz musicians in our headline concert performances, we focus on nurturing the talent of young musicians with jazz student performances and clinics.”
The goal of the festival is to encourage the musical education and growth of the 800 participating students by interaction with internationally acclaimed jazz artists. These students perform on the same stages as the biggest names in professional jazz.
“Jazz St. Louis is proud to once again partner with UMSL and the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival,” said Gene Dobbs Bradford, executive director of Jazz St. Louis. “We all share a strong commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities for young people. In addition, the festival allows us to share some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians with our community.”
The big jazz performances in 2013 begin with Anat Cohen and Matt Wilson at Jazz at The Bistro on Thursday and continue at the Touhill with Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour and Doc Severinsen and His Big Band on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both concerts at the Touhill feature opening-act performances by the UMSL Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Widner.
2013 FESTIVAL HEADLINERS:
Virtuosic reed artist Anat Cohen and New York-based drummer and Grammy-nominee Matt Wilson open the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival. Jazz St. Louis presents two shows on Thursday, April 18, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. at Jazz at the Bistro.
Cohen, who will be playing both clarinet and tenor saxophone says, “The music we perform…comes from the jazz tradition, but it’s very playful – we have fun with sounds and melodies, following our instincts, without over-analyzing. Matt Wilson is like a kid onstage, and that’s what I like to be – it’s great to have a partner in crime like him. Matt gets these incredible sounds from the drums…”
Tickets are $32 and are available through the Jazz St. Louis Box Office at 314-289-4030, MetroTix at 314-534-1111, or online at www.metrotix.com.
Friday, April 19:
Jazz St. Louis presents the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 55th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, April 19, at the Touhill. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall with an opening set by the UMSL Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Widner.
Featuring critically acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning jazz artists, this all-star band consists of bassist and musical director Christian McBride, vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, saxophonist Chris Potter, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, pianist Benny Green and drummer Lewis Nash. Embracing the past, present, and future of jazz, the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour will perform an assortment of classic jazz repertoire as well as original compositions.
The Monterey Jazz Festival, the longest continuously-running jazz festival in the world, has presented nearly every major jazz star—from Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong to Esperanza Spalding and Trombone Shorty—since it was founded in 1958.
Tickets for Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour, sponsored by Worldwide Technology, Inc., are $35, or $75 for VIP tickets which include a backstage post-concert reception to which the musicians have been invited. They are available through the Touhill Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, online at www.touhill.org, or by phone at 314-516-4949.
Saturday, April 20:
Doc Severinsen and His Big Band will close out this exciting weekend of jazz on Saturday, April 20, at the Touhill. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall with an opening set by the UMSL Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Widner.
“The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson bandleader Doc Severinsen is best known as the legendary horn player who welcomed millions of viewers with the familiar theme song for nearly three decades. The Doc Severinsen repertoire includes Ellington and Basie standards, pop, jazz, ballads, big band classics and, of course, “The Tonight Show” theme. Severinsen can blow the roof off with a trumpet solo, and his band members get their well-deserved turns in the spotlight.
Tickets are $35. They are available through the Touhill Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, online at www.touhill.org, or by phone at 314-516-4949.
About the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival:
The goal of the four-day festival is to encourage the musical education and growth of the participating students by interacting with internationally acclaimed jazz artists. Now in its 10th year, the festival has grown to accommodate as many as 800 students from more than 30 schools from across Missouri, Kansas, Illinois and Texas. For two days, students participate in adjudicated performances and clinics. The clinics include one-on-one sessions and critique from jazz’s finest. In past years, budding musicians learned from such jazz greats as Clark Terry, Lou Marini, John Pizzarelli, Ron Carter, Russell Malone, Marilyn Maye, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Buddy DeFranco, Tom Scott, Mulgrew Miller, Jon Faddis, Conrad Herwig, Shelly Berg, Peter Erskine, Chris Vadala, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and many others. Daytime performances and artist clinics are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.touhill.org/jazzfestival.