The Northern Michigan University Jazz Festival will include two evening performances featuring guest artist Dean Sorenson. The trombonist will perform with the NMU Jazz Festival Faculty Combo during a 7:30 p.m. opening concert on Thursday, March 23, in Reynolds Recital Hall. He will also share the Forest Roberts Theatre stage with the NMU Jazz Band and Jazz Combo for the closing concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 24. Tickets for each are $12 for general admission and free for students.
Sorenson will also hold an educational clinic that is free and open to the public from 1-1:50 p.m. Friday, March 24, in Reynolds Recital Hall. He is associate professor and director of jazz studies at the University of Minnesota. He is also a prolific and highly sought-after composer, arranger, trombonist, educator and clinician. Visit his website, www.deansorensonmusic.com, to see his recent jazz pedagogy books, compositions and recording projects.
Throughout the March 22-24 festival, there will also be performances by high school and middle school students from the region. Middle school jazz bands will perform from 9-11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 22 in Reynolds Recital Hall, followed by lunch and a performance by the NMU Jazz Band. High school jazz bands will perform from 3:30-5 p.m. Thursday in Reynolds Recital Hall, followed by 9-11:30 a.m. and 2:15-5 p.m. performances on Friday in the Northern Center. These events are free and open to the public.
NMU has presented numerous jazz clinics and concerts over the last 50 years, but the current festival format began in 1998, when the student organization NMU Friends of Jazz invited the legendary trumpeter Clark Terry to perform a concert with the NMU Jazz Band. Several local high school bands were invited to participate in clinics in conjunction with the event, and the positive responses from participants and audience members suggested that an annual jazz festival would be well-received.
For more information, and a full schedule of events, visit https://nmu.edu/music/jazz-festival.