Bemidji State to host Jazz Fest, Feb. 2-3

BEMIDJI, Minn. – High school ensembles from Minnesota and Manitoba, Canada, will participate in Jazz Fest 2008, a two-day event at Bemidji State University, concluding with a concert Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m., featuring BSU Jazz I with guest clinicians and selected high school ensembles.

The concert, which is open to the public, will be held in the Bemidji High School Auditorium. Admission is $5 for the general public, $3 for seniors and students, and free with a BSU student identification card.

Featured in the concert finale will be the BSU Jazz Band I, under the direction of Dr. Steve Konecne, performing with guest soloists Sherrie Maricle, a percussionist and leader of Diva big band, and John DeSalme, a saxophonist and member of the U.S. Army Blues, as well as a long-time friend of Konecne. Maricle and DeSalme will work with each of the ensembles in 30-minute clinics throughout the Jazz Fest.

“This is the 35th year of the festival and as usual, we look forward to the opportunity to work with some of the finest high school musicians from this part of the country and Manitoba,” said Konecne, BSU professor of music and event coordinator. “It’s a jazz immersion weekend, and we’re excited to collaborate with Sherrie and John and enjoy the music of all the ensembles.”

Participating in the Jazz Fest are BSU Jazz I and II and 17 ensembles from Bemidji High School, Sebeka High School and South St. Paul High School, as well as schools from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

• Clinic Sessions
The public is welcome to attend all clinic sessions free of charge, beginning with an open rehearsal of BSU Jazz I with Maricle and DeSalme at 3:15 p.m., Feb. 1, in the High School Auditorium. All other clinics will be held in the Main Theatre and Thompson Recital Hall of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex in 30-minute sessions from 7- 9:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1, and from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-4:45 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2.

For more information about the clinic schedule, call the Bemidji State University Department of Music at (218) 755-2915. The event is not a competition and each ensemble will receive coaching and suggestions from the clinicians.

• The Clinicians
Maricle, a highly regarded educator, was voted the New York University Music Teacher of the Year in 1997 and 2000. She completed her doctorate of philosophy in jazz performance and composition in 2000 at New York University and has toured nationally and on European tours with the acclaimed Diva big band and her quintet Five Play. In addition, she plays and tours extensively with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops and has worked with such jazz luminaries as Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton and Slam Stewart. Her quintet Five Play’s premier recording, “On the Rink,” was voted the number one CD of 1999 in Jazz Times Magazine. She is a member of the jazz and percussion NYU faculty and of the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival, as well as director of education for the New York Pops.

DeSalme graduated from the University of Iowa in 1981 and successfully auditioned to become a member of the Jazz Ambassadors, the United States Army’s premier touring jazz ensemble. In 1988, he won the audition for the prestigious Army Blues, the Army’s official jazz ensemble based in Washington D.C. He remains in that ensemble today and in 2002, toured the Middle East in a United Services Organization show. He also is a member of the newly formed component of the Army Band called Swamp Romp, a Dixieland and traditional jazz ensemble. This group recently performed on the “Emeril Live” show and has traveled to New Orleans to perform and help build homes with Habitat for Humanity. DeSalme has performed widely and played with many notable jazz musicians including Stanley Turrentine, Tony Bennett, Slide Hampton, James Moody and others.

For more information, please call the Department of Music at (218) 755-2915.

Feb. 2
– 7:30 p.m. – Jazz Fest Concert with saxophonist John DeSalme and percussionist Sherrie Maricle presented by Bemidji State University. Location: Bemidji High School Auditorium. Admission: $5 general public, $3 students and seniors, free for BSU students.

Media Note: All clinic sessions are open to the media and the public. BSU Jazz I and guest clinicians will hold an open rehearsal at 3:15 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1, in the Bemidji High School Auditorium. Other local groups will rehearse on Feb. 1 in the Main Theatre of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex as follows: BSU Jazz II clinic, 7 p.m., and the Bemidji High School, 8 p.m. A series of 30-minute clinics in the Main Theatre and Thompson Recital Hall of Bangsberg will run from 7-10 p.m. Feb. 1 and from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1-4:45 p.m. Feb. 2. To schedule a photo, contact Steve Konecne, (218) 755-3360.

More about the clinicians is available on the Web:
Sherrie Maricle –
John DeSalme, U.S. Army Blues Band –