Middle- and high-school Jazz bands from across the state join-in on the fun
GREEN BAY—Jazz Fest, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and held on the UW-Green Bay campus will celebrate its 50th anniversary this January, with activities that begin Thursday, January 23, 2020.
Jazz Fest invites middle and high school jazz bands from across the state to a day of workshops and masterclasses, Saturday, January 25, 2020, culminating in an afternoon concert featuring several of the school bands. The evening is capped off with a concert by a professional jazz band at the Weidner Center; this year featuring The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and The Squirrel Nut Zippers.
UWGB Jazz Fest is the second oldest jazz festival in Wisconsin. It was started in 1970 by professors Wayne Jaeckel and Lovell Ives, and has been host to thousands of high school students in its 50 years. Students get the chance to work with world-class musician educators in a collegial atmosphere that promotes one of America’s most important art forms. For many years, the festival was competitive in nature and saw upwards of 40 competing bands.
In the first couple of decades, UWGB Jazz Ensemble I would spend the January term in intensive practice sessions preparing for the festival, during which they would then perform with well-known soloists such as Clark Terry. With the loss of the January term, in recent years, the festival has been headlined by professional acts such as this year’s double bill of The Squirrel Nut Zippers and The Dirty Dozen Brass band. In addition, the competition is no longer competitive but features more time for each band with clinicians, including featuring one of the clinicians as a soloist on the added 4 p.m. concert. UWGB Jazz Fest is keeping the long tradition of quality jazz education alive in Northeast Wisconsin.
This year, there are more than a dozen bands from 10 different schools participating: Ashwaubenon High School, Green Bay East High School, Pulaski Middle School, Pulaski High School, Two Rivers High School, Evansville High School, Preble High School, West DePere High School, Bay Port High School and Jefferson High School. Following a morning and afternoon of workshops and masterclasses, six of the bands will participate in a concert to showcase their talents. The concert will be held at 4 p.m. in the Cofrin Family Hall at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. This concert is free and the public is welcomed and encouraged to attend. As part of the 50th celebration of Jazz Fest, at the beginning of the 4 p.m. concert and the 7:30 headliner concert, UW-Green Bay Associate Professor and Jazz Fest organizer Adam Gaines will give a brief presentation on the history of Jazz Fest, highlighting some of the accomplishments from over the years.
Also as part of the 50th celebration of Jazz Fest, a Jazz Alumni Dinner Party is being held on Thursday, January 23, 2020 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Blue Opus, 1390 Bellevue St., Green Bay. The evening will feature live music and a jam session and be a chance for Jazz alumni to catch up and share their love of the art with other enthusiasts. The event is open to the public and you do not have to be an alumnus to attend. There is a suggested donation of $10 at the door. The money raised at this event will help fund the UWGB Jazz Ensemble’s tour of Slovakia in May.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and The Squirrel Nut Zippers have made a name for themselves in the Jazz world by breaking the mold of traditional Jazz and combining it with aspects of Swing, Delta Blues, Bebop Jazz, Funk and R&B/Soul. Each band will play one set along with a collaboration between the two bands. The headliner concert will be held in the Cofrin Family Hall at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at $20.50 and are available online at www.weidnercenter.com/events/.
For more information about Jazz Fest or how your band can take part, please contact Adam Gaines at 920-465-2440 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For a full listing of UW-Green Bay Music events for the 2019-20 season, please visit www.uwgb.edu/music/. Additional information about The Squirrel Nut Zippers can be found at: www.snzippers.com. Additional information about The Dirty Dozen Brass Band can be found at: www.dirtydozenbrass.com.
About the Weidner Center
UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts is known for its elegant design and the acoustic excellence of its 2,000-seat main hall, Cofrin Family Hall. It also houses two smaller performance spaces, the Fort Howard recital hall and the Jean Weidner Theatre, along with a dance studio and Grand Foyer. The Center is a home for UW-Green Bay Music and Theatre and Dance productions, community events and productions, and performances by visiting artists and touring companies. The Weidner Center has a distinct benefit in being part of a leading institution of higher learning. Beyond the large-scale touring productions that grace the stage, the Weidner Center also focuses on scholastic development, programming and an impactful education series – Stage Doors. The Stage Doors Education Series serves more than17,500 students from 63 cities throughout Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula every year. For more information on the Weidner Center, visit www.WeidnerCenter.com, 920-465-2726, 800-895-0071, or follow the ‘Weidner Center for the Performing Arts’ on Facebook, Twitter (@WeidnerCenter) and Instagram (@weidnercenter).
About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to more than 8,700 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, D-I athletics, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.