ETHS Hosts 18th Annual Jazz Festival February 12

More than 30 of Illinois’ top high school jazz bands and ensembles will perform at the 18th Annual Evanston Township High School Jazz Festival on Saturday, February 12, a day-long event that culminates in an evening concert of trumpeter Orbert Davis and his powerful octet.

ETHS’ own Jazz Ensemble, led by bands director Matthew Bufis, will open the Davis concert at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium. The school is located at 1600 Dodge Ave. Earlier in the day, at noon, ETHS alumnus Chris Greene (Class of 1991) and his quartet perform for high school students.

Established in 2004 as an all-day, non-competitive jazz immersion event, the ETHS Jazz Festival offers students of all skill levels a rare chance to experience clinics and masterclasses from some of jazz’s finest musicians. and Chicago-area jazz educators.

Throughout the day, 22 jazz ensembles from eight schools will perform, including the nine ETHS bands and combos. After each session, student groups participate in a half-hour clinic presented by professional musicians, college professors, and world-class educators.

When not playing, students can attend additional clinics throughout the day. Orbert, founder of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and members of his octet will give a special presentation and Q&A at 4:30 p.m.

“The young men and women participating today represent the future of jazz music,” Bufis said. “They will be challenged by distinguished clinicians and will have the chance to observe some of the best jazz artists who are changing the genre.”

Tickets for the Davis show at 7 p.m. in the main auditorium of ETHS are $20 for adults, $15 for students with ID and seniors. They can be purchased at ETHSJazz.com or by calling 847-424-7848. All profits are donated to the teaching of jazz at ETHS.

Featured performers

Orbert Davis

Orbert Davis, Emmy Award-winning trumpeter, composer, and educator, is co-founder, conductor, and artistic director of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, a 55-plus-piece jazz symphony orchestra dedicated to bringing together audiences from all walks of life. diverse through multi-genre projects. His composition “Soul Migration” is inspired by the stories of some of the six million African Americans who took part in the Great Migration, moving from the rural South to the industrial North a century ago. Premiered at the 2016 Chicago Jazz Festival, “Soul Migration” features an octet of musicians from Orbert’s Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. Davis is widely respected in all things jazz, as well as his distinctive ability to use his musical talents to positively impact society through education and arts advocacy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from DePaul University, a master’s degree in jazz pedagogy from Northwestern University, and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Governors State University.

Chris Green

Originally from Evanston, saxophonist and composer Chris Greene spent his formative years in the award-winning ensembles of Evanston Township High School Wind and Jazz. As a teenager, he played professionally with many local pop/rock and jazz bands. Greene eventually attended Indiana University’s prestigious jazz studies program and studied with famed teacher and cellist David Baker. Greene returned to Chicago in 1994 and has since collaborated with some of the country’s most creative and versatile musicians. As a performer, Greene can be seen with many different bands and genres. He also leads his own critically acclaimed band, the Chris Greene Quartet, which includes Steve Corley on drums, Damian Espinosa on piano and keyboards, and Marc Piane on bass. The Chris Greene Group Quartet incorporates funk, hip-hop, rock, pop, blues and reggae, reflecting their diverse backgrounds.

Participating schools

Addison Trail High School
Champaign Central High School
Concord Community High School
Downers Grove North High School
Downers Grove South Secondary School
Evanston Township High School
Grayslake North High School
lake forest high school
Kaneland High School
High school of the canton of Lyon
New Trier Canton High School
Niles West High School
Normal Community High School
South Elgin Secondary School
William Howard Taft High School
Warren Township High School

Jazz judges and clinicians

Rhythm Section Clinic: Joan Hickey (Piano), Joel Spencer (Drums), John Tate (Bass)
Ear play workshop:Todd Kelly
Improv Clinic: Marc Bettcher

Mark Bettcher – Trombone
David Fodor – Drums
Joan Hickey – Piano
Bob Lark – Trumpet
Brian Logan – Drums
Todd Kelly – Trumpet
Joel Spencer – Drums
Janis Stockhouse – Trumpet
John Tate – Bass
Glenn Williams – trombone

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