Jazz Fest features return of faculty, alumni musicians

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Jazz Fest XXXIX will help celebrate the 80th birthday of former music faculty member Lovell Ives with re-appearances by former University musicians.

Jazz Fest, which includes a full day of musical performances and education on campus, is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 31. The public concert begins at 4 p.m. in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

The final show features the UW-Green Bay Jazz and Vocal ensembles and a special Alumni Jazz Band directed by Ives, featuring Mark Israel, class of 1982, on the trumpet and Mark Burditt, ’81, on the trombone, along with about 30 other returning alumni musicians. Burditt and Israel currently tour together nationally with the U.S. Air Force elite jazz ensemble, the Falconaires.

The UW-Green Bay Jazz Ensemble and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble will each perform several arrangements composed by Ives throughout his career. Some of the arrangements are, “What Now My Love,” “It Might As Well Be Spring,” “St. Louis Blues,” “Things We Did Last Summer,” and “Ellington Medley.”

Other jazz hits adorn the program covering a variety of jazz tastes.

Ives, UW-Green Bay’s first jazz director and founder of the University’s jazz program in the late 1960s, remains active arranging professionally for groups and orchestras across the country. He plays trumpet in the River City Six band. Ives retired from UW-Green Bay in 1997.

High school jazz bands, combos and vocal ensembles will perform for judges earlier in the day with a chance to be included as part of the final concert. Performances are judged on jazz style, enthusiasm, program and technical precision. Burditt and Israel will also give a jazz clinic to the young musicians.

Tickets for the 4 p.m. concert are $12 in advance or $14 at the door. Order online at www.uwgb.edu/tickets, or call University Ticketing Services at (920) 465-2217 or (800) 328-8587.