This year, the Jacksonville State University Jazz Program will hold the fourth annual Jazz Festival on March 6th. High school and college groups from the area will gather to attend the Festival.
The Jazz Festival is a non-competitive educational and musical experience that is designed to grow the love of jazz by gathering students, directors and guest clinicians in one place.
According to Dr. Andy Nevala, a jazz professor here at JSU, “every major Jazz Program in the country has a festival of some sort.”
JSU’s festival is to help recruit new students, spread awareness of Jazz Education, and provide the city of Jacksonville and JSU an opportunity to hear students perform at a high level.
In accordance with this, most of the day students will spend in classrooms, clinics and masterclasses.
About 20 bands will be participating in the festival this year, ten of which are JSU groups and combos.
In all, four JSU Jazz ensembles, six combos and the JSU Latin Ensemble, as well bands from Gadsden State Community College, Northeast Alabama Community College, Jacksonville High School, White Plains High School, Southside High School, and Escambia County High School will be participating.
Clinicians will provide written and verbal feedback to directors and students and each participating school will be awarded a commemorative plaque.
Nevala says of the guests, “That’s all the space we have. Without an adequate performance facility, we are limited at what we can do and who we can bring to campus.”
While the Jazz Festival is designed primarily for students, it is a public event and there will be live performances throughout the day that all are invited to attend.
Not only will the festival be open to the public, but the festival is also serving as the release party for the JSU Jazz Ensemble I and faculty’s CD.
Nevala says of the CD, “Our goal was to make a quality CD to promote JSU and its growing Jazz Program, to help with recruitment and to give our students who participated something they could be proud of. I remember each of the cd’s I have played on; I hope the students will always remember all the hard work and sacrifices that went into recording this one.”
The CD includes 3 Radiohead songs and 2 Jim McNeeley arrangements that the Jazz Ensemble performs. The jazz faculty recorded original compositions by Dr. Dave Lambert and Chris Enghauser, with a Jazz Trio arrangement of “Sweet Home Alabama.”
The CD and several different shirt designs will be available at the festival for a $10 donation.
The festival begins at 9 a.m., with clinics and masterclasses taking place at 11 a.m. After the noon concert, there will be more clinics and masterclasses on every instrument, with performances by the bands from 2-5 p.m.
The noon concert, which will be held in the Leone Cole Auditorium, will be a brown bag concert and all are invited to spend their lunch listening to jazz music and enjoying their lunch.
The performances will be split between the Leone Cole Auditorium and the Theron Montgomery Building Auditorium
Arts & Entertainment Editor