Marshall to host 46th Annual Winter Jazz Festival

Marshall will host one of the longest running collegiate jazz festivals in the nation when the School of Music and Theatre presents the 46th Annual Winter Jazz Festival Jan. 29-31.

Dr. Martin Saunders, director of jazz studies, said the festival provides a venue for middle school, high school and collegiate musicians to meet, perform for and learn from the best of jazz professionals.

“Students learn through critique and feedback of their performances, participation in clinics and workshops, and through observation of stellar evening performances,” Saunders said.

The festival kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on Marshall’s Huntington campus with a concert featuring Bridgeport High School’s Honor Band, Glenville State College’s Jazz Combo, Marshall’s Jazz Combo I and the university’s Faculty Jazz Combo.

Friday’s evening concert at 7 p.m. will feature Marshall’s Alumni Band and the MU Jazz Ensemble I with special guests Mark Sherman, vibes; Marty Ojeda, tenor saxophone; and Ryan Kennedy, guitar. The finale concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, will feature the Thundering Herd All-Star Band and the Sean Jones Quartet, jam-packed with arguably some of the top jazz artists in the world today, including Jones, who was recently designated as the Head of Brasses at Berklee College of Music.

Twelve regional middle school and high school bands will perform on Friday and Saturday, with performances beginning at 9 a.m. and ending after 3 p.m. each day.

All Winter Jazz Festival 2015 events will take place in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse. While it is free to attend the evening concerts on Thursday and Friday, tickets must be picked up at the playhouse ticket office prior to each evening concert. Tickets for the Sean Jones Quartet concert are $10 for adults, $5 for students with ID. Tickets may be picked up at the box office from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or after 5:30 p.m. before each concert.

For more information about the Marshall University School of Music and Theatre’s Winter Jazz Festival, call the box office at 304-696-ARTS or Saunders at 304-696-4316.