Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

 Evanston Township High School’s annual jazz festival will be held on Feb. 9, culminating with an evening concert by the Chicago State University Community Jazz Band. The ETHS Jazz Ensemble will open the concert in the ETHS auditorium under the direction of Matthew Bufis, Director of Bands. The festival’s noontime concert will feature the Lowdown Brass Band.

“For our 16th year hosting the festival, we are excited to showcase the depth of Chicago’s home-grown jazz talents,” said Mr. Bufis. “Our festival provides middle and high school musicians a platform to challenge themselves, learn from distinguished professionals, and observe some of the best jazz artists proudly carrying on Chicago’s strong jazz tradition.”

The Chicago State University Community Jazz Band, led by Professor Roxanne Stevenson, features soloists Jason Curry (saxophone) and Tim Froncek (drums).  Tickets for the 7 p.m. concert can be purchased online at https://www.onthestage.com/show/evanston-township-high-school-fine-arts/eths-jazz-fest-2019-2041/. All proceeds from ticket sales go towards the expenses of the ETHS Jazz Fest.

Throughout the day, 24 jazz ensembles from nine schools large and small will perform to build their performance experience, sharpen their skills and showcase the amazing jazz talent that area music programs are nurturing. After each performance, the group will participate in a half-hour clinic.  At these clinics, adjudicators and clinicians, who are world-class professional musicians, university professors and educators, will share their expertise with each group.

The Chicago State University Community Jazz Band was founded in 1992
by Prof. Stevenson in response to the need for music-reading sessions for local musicians. The Lowdown Brass Band (LDB) breaks the barrier between audience and performer with its live show, which features dynamic vocalists, hip-hop MCs,
and body movement that gets any wallflower up and on their feet.

Established in 2004 as a non-competitive, all-day jazz immersion event, the Evanston Township High School Jazz Festival hosts nearly 50 middle and high school jazz groups from around the region.  Students of all levels can be inspired by professional musicians, enlightened by clinics, lectures and master classes, and encouraged to take their playing to the next level. 

This educational and cultural jazz festival provides the opportunity to showcase local, national and international artists.  It is the mission of the Evanston Township High School Jazz Festival to provide an important supplement to the students’ pursuit of jazz by highlighting the enduring elements and important innovations of this distinctly American music.