Jazz fest: more than good tunes
This year’s Park City Jazz Festival is more than just about music, it’s about the kids, according to Kris Severson, executive director of the Park City Jazz Foundation.
Yes, the festival is bringing musicians from across the country and most of the attention will be on artists like Chris Botti, Robben Ford, and Dr. Lonnie Smith.
Severson said they have been more selective this year in choosing musicians. They have scoured the jazz landscape and, through research, are hoping to bring a wide variety of jazz musicians that will attract large crowds at Deer Valley, he said.
The talent will be strong and the audiences should be entertained. But the Park City Jazz Foundation is staying with their roots educating young musicians.
"That’s one of the most important parts of the jazz foundation," said Julie Hooker, development director for the Park City Jazz Foundation.
A unique opportunity will await aspiring musicians Saturday, Aug. 26. Professional jazz musicians will conduct free educational seminars for the kids.
"Can you imagine working with these artists? It’s just phenomenal," Hooker said. "It transforms their entire life. Along with getting the knowledge and learning through somebody that has made it, when they see that, a light goes on and they say, ‘I can do that too.’ That will never, ever, ever leave these students."
In curricular programs, music and art classes are usually the first to go when the school suffers financial troubles, Severson said. The Park City Jazz Foundation is creatively using the festival to educate kids who don’t have as many opportunities in music as they once had.
The Saturday’s morning events will offer teacher- and student-training alike. Students and teachers can bring their instruments and play with the artists that will perform later during the festival. Others without instruments are also invited to come and watch the proceedings.
"The festival supports the Jazz Foundation, the Jazz Foundation fills the gap for public educators," Hooker said. "We are more than a fabulous festival for three days. By coming, you support our education program, it’s an amazing program."
Severson and Hooker both believe learning the arts benefits kids’ education in all areas.
"When students learn music and how to improvise that transfers to other areas of their learning," Hooker, who once taught music in high school said.
Hooker however, is not just excited about the education part of the festival. She thinks the quality and diversity of talent is superior to the past.
"Prior to starting to work at the jazz foundation, I ate food, talked with friends and used the festival as background noise," Hooker said. "I am head over heels for this now."
Before organizing this festival she didn’t know who Robben Ford, the headliner of this festival, was.
"He’s fantastic," Hooker said. "Right now I only have his CDs playing in my car."
Park City will be introduced to a wide variety of styles of jazz next week.
"We are really exposing the community to a variety of music," Hooker said. "Jazz is a big scary word even to people in record industry. By putting on a festival with this huge variety of artists, we will expose people to all types of world music under the jazz umbrella."
The festival will feature two stages; the Fidelity Stage will be located at the Main Deer Valley Amphitheater. The Michelob Stage will be at the skier’s left above the festival village. There will also be a beer garden, a festival village for artisans to display their wares, video board, roving artists, jugglers and other performers.
The Fidelity Investments Park City Jazz Festival starts Aug. 25 at 3:30 p.m. V.I.P. tickets are sold out for the first day and all local priced tickets are sold out. For tickets and information, visit http://www.parkcityjazz.org or call 940-1362.
Schedule of performers:
Friday, Aug. 25 Gates Open at 3:30 p.m. 4:30 Royal Crown Review Michelob Stage 5:30 Marcus Miller Fidelity Stage 7:00 Royal Crown Review Michelob Stage 8:00 Chris Botti Fidelity Stage Saturday, Aug. 26 Gates Open at 1 p.m. 2:45 Ileana Santamaria Orchestra Fidelity Stage 4:15 Caribbean Jazz Project Michelob Stage 5:45 Jeff Coffin with the Park City Super Band Fidelity Stage 7:00 Caribbean Jazz Project Michelob Stage 8:00 Gerald Albright and Kirk Whalum Sunday, Aug. 27 Gates Open at 1 p.m. 2:15 Tucker Rountree Fidelity Stage 3:45 Eight Track Mind Michelob Stage 4:30 Javon Jackson with Dr. Lonnie Smith Fidelity Stage 6:00 Eight Track Mind Michelob Stage 7:00 Robben Ford Fidelity Stage The education schedule for Saturday, Aug. 26
Choir Room Auditorium Band Room
Dave Samuels (vibes and marimba)
Breaking the Barrier: Anyone Can Improvise
Scott Wilson (trumpet) and the Crescent Super Band
The Brass Player’s Survival Guide: Maintaining Your Chops
Mando Dorame and Terry Landry (saxophones)
Mark Cally, Veikko Lepisto, Daniel Glass (guitar, bass, drums)
Rhythm Section Workout
Jeff Coffin (tenor saxophone)
What Now?: The Next Level of Improv
Eddie Nichols (vocals)
Meet the Artist
11:30 a.m. Robby Ameen (drums)
Funkifying the Clave
Javon Jackson (tenor saxophone)
Playing in the Groove
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