The 17th annual Evanston Township High School Jazz Festival, set for Feb. 15, features an evening concert by Chicago’s Rajiv Halim Quintet. ETHS’ Jazz Ensemble will open the concert in the main auditorium led by Matthew Bufis, Director of Bands. The festival’s noontime concert will feature the Brian Gephart Group. Mr. Halim and bandmates also will give attendees a special presentation.

 “The growth of this event has been fantastic for the student musicians and for the school,” Mr. Bufis says. “Middle and high school musicians from across Chicagoland get a chance to challenge themselves in many ways. There is the musical selection they’ve prepared, but they also are challenged by distinguished clinicians and observe some of the best jazz artists that keep the genre evolving.”

 Tickets for the evening show in the school’s main auditorium are priced at $20 for adults, $15 for students with ID and senior citizens. They can be purchased by calling 847-424- 7848 or clicking ETHSJazz.com. Proceeds benefit jazz education at ETHS.

 Throughout the day, 13 jazz ensembles from seven schools large and small join ETHS’s nine bands and combos. The student bands will perform throughout the day to build their performance experience, sharpen their skills and showcase the amazing jazz talent that our area music programs are nurturing.  Following each performance, the group will participate in a half hour clinic.  Our adjudicators and clinicians are world-class professional musicians, university professors and educators who will share their expertise with each group during a 30-minute clinic following the group’s performance.

Participating schools are Lyons Township High School, Western Springs, Grayslake North High School, Grayslake, Lincoln-Way Central High School, New Lenox, Addison Trail High School, Addison, Lakes Community High School, Lake Villa, Music Institute of Chicago and Nichols Middle School.

JAZZ FEST ADJUDICATORS AND CLINICIANS

Rhythm Section Clinic: Joan Hickey, Joel Spencer, Larry Gray

Saxophone Clinic: Pete Mills

Brass Clinic: Tom Garling

Scott Burns – Saxophone (plus Sax Clinic)

Joel Spencer – Drums

Pete Mills – Saxophone

Larry Gray – Bass

Scott Burns – Saxophone

Joan Hickey – Piano

Tom Garling – Trombone

Pharez Whitted – Trumpet

Tim Coffman – Trombone

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 are inspired by professional musicians, enlightened by our clinics, lectures, and master classes, and encouraged to take their playing to the next level.  This educational and cultural jazz festival has earned its distinction by providing 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.