Special to the E-T

Grammy-winning saxophonist Bob Mintzer will be the featured guest artist at the annual Tarleton Jazz Festival here Saturday, March 26, and will perform in concert with the Tarleton Jazz Ensemble. An international influence on the big band sound, Mintzer has written more than 200 big band arrangements.

The day-long festival, now in its 49th year, begins at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center with a series of performances by 20 area high school jazz groups. Following each performance, a panel of clinicians will work with each group on stage, giving them immediate feedback and helpful suggestions. At 4:30 p.m. Mintzer will present a clinic for the participants. Both the clinic and high school performances are free and open to the public.

Mintzer’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door one hour prior to the show.

Mintzer has recorded some 30 solo projects and received four Grammy nominations and a Grammy award for best large jazz ensemble recording in 2001. He has done session work for James Taylor, Steve Winwood, Queen, and countless others. He is a 20-year member of the Grammy award-winning Yellowjackets, has authored books on jazz and does workshops around the world.

"Playing music is a lifelong commitment,” Mintzer said. “There are always new things to consider and develop. I'm exhilarated and humbled by music on a daily basis, and plan to continue on this path until my last day on earth.”

Greg Ball, director of the Tarleton Jazz Ensemble, said,“Bob Mintzer has been a hero of mine for years. I was in college when his first big band albums started coming out and we played everything of his we could get our hands on. I’ve heard him perform a couple of times and I can tell you, he is an amazing player.”

For more information, call Greg Ball at 968-9828.