Trumpet virtuoso, composer and educator Jon Faddis will serve as this year’s featured guest artist with student jazz musicians as part of the 52nd annual Tarleton Jazz Festival on Saturday.
The closing concert of the festival, at 7:30 p.m., will feature Faddis and the Tarleton Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Greg Ball, in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center auditorium.
Faddis broke onto the jazz scene in the early 1970s and became known for his uncanny ability to sound like idol, Dizzy Gillespie. He played lead trumpet on some of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra’s most important recordings and became a first call studio musician in New York City, appearing on hundreds of recordings.
More recently, he led the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band for a decade and has conducted more than 40 concerts in 10 years, during which time the ensemble presented more than 135 musicians and 70 guest artists, and premiered works by over 35 composers and arrangers at the famed venue. The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band has since evolved into the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra.
“Jon’s command of the high range is legendary but he has become known for effortless playing in all ranges and in any style,” said Ball, director of Tarleton’s jazz ensembles. “His work with Dizzy Gillespie, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and others, as well as countless studio recordings over the years makes him a true jazz legend. We are very excited to welcome Jon to our festival this year, and invite the community to enjoy a night of great music.”
Every year since 1962 the university has hosted the Tarleton Jazz Festival, a one-day event that is designed for high school and junior high groups to perform for and work with renowned jazz educators and to hear the guest artists. Previous guest artists include the Count Basie Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson, Bob Mintzer, David “Fathead” Newman, Rufus Reid and Maria Schneider, and 2013 guest artist Jeff Coffin of Dave Matthews Band.
“The festival is designed to give students in-depth exposure to all aspects of jazz,” Ball said. “The bands will perform on our stages for several jazz educators who will provide written comments. Following their performances, the groups will work with one of the clinicians, receiving immediate feedback on positive aspects and help in those areas that need it.”
Awards will be given to outstanding bands in all classifications and outstanding musicians/soloists in each group at the conclusion of the festival.
All Jazz Festival events during the day are open to the public and admission is free, except for the evening concert. Tickets to the evening concert are $5 and will go on sale one hour prior to the show at the Fine Arts Center Box Office. All seating is general admission.