NMU Jazz Fest April 5-6

Ellen Rowe

Northern Michigan University's annual Jazz Festival will open and close with performances by guest pianist and composer Ellen Rowe and the NMU Jazz Band and Jazz Combo. The opening concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in Reynolds Recital Hall. The closing concert is a repeat performance at the same time and location on Friday, April 6.

Rowe is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan. She has performed in jazz clubs and had a concert series throughout the U.S. She also has toured in Europe, South Africa and Australia. Rowe has given master classes and workshops at universities worldwide.

"We try to bring guest artists in for the Jazz Festival who are both world-class performers and outstanding educators," said Mark Flaherty, head of the NMU Music Department. "Ellen definitely checks both of those boxes. She has published a variety of compositions for student and professional ensembles, and we'll be featuring many of her original works during the evening concerts."

Tickets for the concerts are $12 for adults and free for students 18 and under (limit of three) and NMU students (one per ID). They are available at the door or in advance through tickets.nmu.edu. 

Rowe will present educational performances and clinics with the NMU Faculty/Student Combo at 1 p.m. on Thursday and Friday in Reynolds Recital Hall. These presentations are free and open to the public.

The Jazz Fest also includes educational clinics, jam sessions and middle and high school performances. Middle and high school ensembles will and get feedback from and work with festival clinicians.

"Any time we can bring 200-300 students to campus and offer them a positive experience like this it's a plus," Flaherty added. "They get to meet and work with NMU faculty and students and they perform in Reynolds Recital Hall. They even get a chance to check out the dining hall, which is always a highlight for the middle school kids. Over the years, we've had many students come to NMU as undergraduates who have said that their experiences coming to campus for the Jazz Festival definitely had an impact on their decision to attend NMU. "

Find more information about this year's Jazz Festival and schedule here. For more information about Rowe, visit her website ellenrowe.com.

Prepared By

Bridgette Bowser
Student Writer