February 26, 2013 12:00AM
The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band will be the featured performer for Pittsburg State University’s 39th Annual Jazz Festival on Friday, March 1. The band will perform at 7:30 p.m. in Pittsburg’s Memorial Auditorium.
The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band was formed in 1998 to perform Gillespie's classic big band repertoire and continue the legacy he left when he died in 1993. The band includes many Gillespie alumni, associates and collaborators.
PSU’s long-running jazz festival is an opportunity for area junior high school, high school and community college groups to perform for and receive ratings from renowned jazz educators from across the country. This year’s jazz faculty come Texas State University, Hope College, the University of Michigan, Edison College of Florida and other universities.
Bob Kehle, a member of the faculty in PSU’s Department of Music, directs the university’s jazz studies program and has organized the Jazz Festival since 1978. The festival was founded by current Music Department Chairman Rusty Jones in 1974.
“What makes the PSU Jazz Festival such a great event is the opportunity for aspiring young jazz musicians to perform for and learn from some of the finest jazz educators in the U.S.,” Kehle said. “It is a testament to the strength of the Jazz Festival that so many great jazz educators are eager to participate in this event.”
The festival’s history and reputation is one big reason that it draws so many participants from such a wide area, Kehle said. This year, dozens of schools from Kansas City, Wichita, Tulsa, and Springfield are registered, as well as many from the immediate four-state area.
The festival is so large that in addition to using the Sharon K. Dean Recital Hall in McCray Hall and the Overman Student Center, the also occupies both the upper and lower levels of Pittsburg’s Memorial Auditorium. The daytime performances run from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
Tickets are required for the evening performance, which in addition to the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, includes the PSU Jazz Ensemble I. Tickets are $15 for adults on the main floor and $10 for PSU faculty and staff and persons 65 and older or 17 and under. Full-time PSU students are admitted free.
For ticket information, call 620-235-4796, or visit www.pittstate.edu/tickets online.
Schools registered for the PSU Jazz Festival:
Pittsburg (Kan.) High School
Independence (Kan.) High School
Baxter Springs (Kan.) High School
Girard (Kan.) High School
Riverton (Kan.) High School
Iola (Kan.) High School
Blue Valley Southwest High School (Overland Park, Kan.)
Blue Valley Northwest High School (Overland Park, Kan.)
Olathe (Kan.) Northwest High School
Olathe (Kan.) South High School
Pioneer Trail Junior High School (Olathe, Kan.)
Prairie Trail Junior High School (Olathe, Kan.)
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School (Overland Park, Kan.)
Spring Hill (Kan.) High School
Wichita (Kan.) Northwest High School
Maize (Kan.) Junior High School
Kansas City Kansas Community College
Carl Junction (Mo.) Junior and Senior High School
Diamond (Mo.) High School
Central High School (Springfield, Mo.)
Glendale High School (Springfield, Mo.)
Hickory Hills Middle School (Springfield, Mo.)
Pershing Middle School (Springfield, Mo.)
Pleasant View Middle School (Springfield, Mo.)
Ozark (Mo.) High School
Republic (Mo.) High School and Middle School
Willard (Mo.) High School
Strafford (Mo.) High School.
Grandview (Mo.) Middle School & High School
Martin City Middle School (Grandview, Mo.)
Winnetonka High School (Kansas City, Mo.)
Northgate Middle School (Kansas City, Mo.)
Raytown (Mo.) High School.
Seneca (Mo.) High School and Junior High
Neosho (Mo.) High School
Nevada (Mo.) High School and Middle School
Webb City (Mo.) High School.
Union High School (Tulsa, Okla.)