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WCSU Jazz Fest
April 30 @ 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM$40
Western Connecticut State University will host its 26th Annual Jazz Fest April 27 – 30 at the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall in the university’s Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC), 43 Lake Ave. Extension, Danbury. All events are open to the public and tickets are available at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com/.
The 2023 WCSU Jazz Fest kicks off with performances by the WCSU Department of Music’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, three Jazz Combos and the Jazz Ensemble at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, and special guests the Kenney Garrett Quintet perform with the WCSU Jazz Orchestra beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 28. Tickets for April 27 are $7 plus fees online and $10 at the door; tickets for April 28 are $35 plus fees online, $40 at the door.
Kenny Garrett is a Grammy Award-wining alto saxophonist and composer who has played with Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, the Duke Ellington Orchestra and more. As a solo performer he tours around the world, playing in big cities such as Rome, Rotterdam and New York City with his “post-bop jazz” sound. Garrett has received numerous Grammy nominations for his Billboard Top Jazz Albums and saxophone performances.
On Saturday, April 29, the WCSU Department of Music will also host “Love Wins! A Celebration of Music” to benefit the Ana Marquez-Greene Endowed Music Scholarship for music majors at WCSU. The scholarship is in honor of the daughter of WCSU Associate Professor of Music and Co-Coordinator of Jazz Studies Dr. Jimmy Greene, whose daughter Ana was lost in the Sandy Hook shooting. Greene, a two-time Grammy nominee, will perform with an all-star lineup including Grammy-nominated pianist Orrin Evans, Latin vocalist Claudia Acuna, bassist Dezron Douglas and Blue Note Records artist Otis Brown III. Tickets online are $35 plus fees, $40 at the door. The event begins at 7 p.m.
Finally, on Sunday, April 30, the final day of the Jazz Fest, WCSU honors Jazz Ensembles and the Jamie Begian Big Band perform. The ensembles include high school student all-star band members, and Begian will lead a big band comprised of WCSU alumni in a set of his original music for large jazz ensembles. Begian is a professor of music and co-coordinator of Jazz Studies at WCSU, an award-winning composer, a guitarist and a big band leader. Tickets are $7 plus fees online and $10 at the door; the show begins at 3 p.m.
Western Connecticut State University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. WCSU’s Department of Music is part of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, and offers a range of the highest quality academic, artistic, pre-professional and professional programming within a liberal arts environment. Additionally, it supports and fosters an environment conducive to the professional and artistic growth of faculty and students, and ensures students’ success by meeting their needs in advising, mentoring and professional development. The university offers several bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music, performance and education. Go to www.wcsu.edu/music/degrees for more information.
The program is housed in the Visual and Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the art, all-in-one facility that hosts a multitude of dynamic spaces to accommodate the needs of artists across all disciplines. The versatile facilities include the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall, MainStage Theatre, the art Gallery, Recording Studio, Music Technology Lab, Electronic Music Workshop, Studio Theatre, Scene Shop, Dressing Rooms and Sculpture, Photography, Graphic Design and Art Studios including the M.F.A. Studios. For a brochure of public events, go to www.wcsu.edu/svpa/events/.
For more information, call the VPAC Box Office at (203) 837-8732 or contact WCSU Public Relations at email@example.com.