36th annual high school jazz festival set for Feb. 6-7

BEMIDJI, Minn. — High school ensembles from Minnesota and Manitoba, Canada, will participate in Jazz Fest 2009, a two-day event at Bemidji State University. The festival will conclude with a Saturday, Feb. 7, concert featuring BSU Jazz I, two high school ensembles and guest clinicians — bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb and trumpeter Rex Richardson.

The concert, which is open to the public, will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Bemidji High School Auditorium. Admission is $5 for the general public, $3 for seniors and students and free with a valid Bemidji State student identification card.

Korb and Richardson will work with each of the participating ensembles in 30-minute clinics throughout the Jazz Fest. Two outstanding ensembles will be selected to perform at the Saturday night concert.

Participating in the jazz immersion weekend, now in its 36th year, will be BSU Jazz I and II and 13 ensembles from Grand Rapids High School, South St. Paul High School and two Winnipeg, Manitoba, schools – Vincent Massey Collegiate and Fort Richmond Collegiate.

Jazz I will perform under the direction of Dr. Darrin Oehlerking, BSU assistant professor of music and festival coordinator.

The public is welcome to attend all clinic sessions free of charge, including two 60-minute sessions at 4:15 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7, with Korb in the Thompson Recital Hall and Richardson in Room 112 of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex. All other clinics will be held in 30-minute segments in the same two locations from 7:30-8:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6, and from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7. The event is not a competition and each ensemble will receive coaching and suggestions from the clinicians.

• Kristin Korb
Korb, who tours internationally as an artist and an educator, is a trained vocalist and bassist. She has recorded several CDs including “Get Happy” on Grace Base, “Where You’ll Find Me” on Double K Music and “Introducing Kristin Korb” on the Telarc label, which featured bassist Ray Brown. She has performed with such notable artists as Benny Green, Bill Mays, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Tamir Hendelman and others.

Raised in Montana, Korb played the guitar in elementary school, as well as violin and piano, before joining the vocal jazz ensemble in junior high and deciding that she could be an instrumentalist and vocalist.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Eastern Montana College and a master’s degree in classical bass performance at the University of California in San Diego. She teaches as an adjunct instructor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In addition, she tours extensively and dedicates much of her spare time to music education. She also serves on the board of directors for the International Society of Bassists.

• Rex Richardson
Richardson has recorded and toured around the globe with the Rhythm & Brass, an ensemble with a reputation as one of the finest brass groups in North America. He also toured North America and Japan with the late jazz legend Joe Henderson’s Quintet and Sextet, and Europe with William Russo’s Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Since 1997, he has served as the fluegelhornist, solo cornet and jazz soloist with the Brass Band of Battle Creek.

Richardson, a champion of new music, made his debut classical CD, “Masks,” with Summit Records in 2005, featuring all-new virtuoso trumpet music by American composers. Richardson has worked with a variety of artists, including Benny Carter, Ray Charles, Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Bobby Shew, Al Vizzutti and many others.

He is the professor of trumpet and jazz trumpet at Virginia Commonwealth University and holds degrees in anthropology and music from Northwestern University and Louisiana State University.

For more information about the Jazz Fest or clinic schedule, contact the Department of Music at (218) 755-2915.

• Kristin Korb – www.kristinkorb.com
• Rex Richardson – www.rextrumpet.com

Feb. 7
– 7:30 p.m. – Jazz Fest Concert with guest artists — bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb and trumpeter Rex Richardson presented by Bemidji State University. Location: Bemidji High School Auditorium. Admission: $5 general public, $3 students and seniors, free for BSU students.