Annual Winter Jazz Festival begins Thursday

45thJazzFestMarshall’s School of Music and Theatre will present its 45th Annual Winter Jazz Festival, beginning Thursday, Jan. 30 and continuing through Saturday, Feb. 1.

Twelve regional middle school and high school bands will be present for adjudication on Friday and Saturday, said Dr. Martin Saunders, professor of music and director of jazz studies.

Special guest artists include Butch Miles, world-renowned percussionist and former drummer with the Count Basie Band, who was inducted into the West Virginia Musicians Hall of Fame in 2013.  Miles will be performing with the Marshall University Jazz Ensemble I on Friday night, along with several other guest performers.

In addition, the iconic Blue Wisp Big Band will be performing for the Saturday evening concert.

All events will take place in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on the Huntington campus.  Concerts will take place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights beginning at 7 p.m.  Admission to all concerts is free and open to the public; however, tickets must be picked up at the playhouse ticket office prior to each evening concert. The box office will open at 5:30 p.m. before each concert.

A complete schedule of events may be viewed online at