EDWARDSVILLE - High school jazz ensembles throughout the region will swing their way onto the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to participate in the 4th Annual St. Louis Jazz Club Essentially Ellington Festival, a day of performances and workshops on Friday, March 30. The concluding concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Dunham Hall Theater is open to the public and will feature participating bands, clinicians and The SIUE Concert Jazz Band.

Co-sponsored by New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center and The St. Louis Jazz Club, the regional festival is a non-competitive, education-focused festival designed to offer high school jazz bands of all levels the opportunity to perform the music of Duke Ellington and other seminal big band composers and arrangers.

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Each band will receive feedback from clinicians in a dress rehearsal, directly followed by written feedback in performance. “We have a group of true all-star clinicians this year,” said Jason Swagler, SIUE director of jazz studies. “We hope the students leave the festival inspired by the experience.”

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Thanks to the St. Louis Jazz Club’s support, additional clinicians have been added while keeping the event free of charge for participating schools. The primary goal of The St. Louis Jazz Club is to support live traditional jazz performance and broaden the understanding of the music.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Clinicians

  • Terell Stafford - Trumpet, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, director of jazz studies at Temple University
  • Dennis Mackrel - Drums, former director of Count Basie Orchestra
  • Reggie Thomas - Piano, Count Basie Orchestra, director of jazz studies at Northern Illinois University
  • Jeff Campbell - Bass, director of jazz studies at Eastman School of Music
  • Rodney Whitaker - Bass, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, director of jazz studies at Michigan State University

SIUE Jazz Faculty Clinicians

  • Rick Haydon- Guitar
  • Jason Swagler- Saxophone
  • Garrett Schmidt- Trumpet
  • Cody Henry - Trombone
  • Brett Stamps - Trombone
  • Adaron Jackson- Piano
  • Miles Vandiver - Drums

Central to SIUE’s exceptional and comprehensive education, the College of Arts and Sciences has 19 departments and 85 areas of study. More than 300 full-time faculty/instructors deliver classes to more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty help students explore diverse ideas and experiences, while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of the global community. Study abroad, service-learning, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities better prepare SIUE students not only to succeed in our region’s workplaces, but also to become valuable leaders who make important contributions to our communities.

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