UW-Stevens Point to host 27th annual Jazz Festival

For the Metro Wire

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Jazz Ensemble at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Jazz Festival concert next month.

Featuring trombonist Ryan Keberle and his band, Catharsis, the performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, in Michelsen Hall in the Noel Fine Arts Center. The public performance caps the daylong Jazz Festival, which offers master classes and performances for more than 700 high school and middle school students from around Wisconsin.

Concert tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Purchase tickets through the Information and Tickets Office at 715-346-4100, 800-838-3378 or http://tickets.uwsp.edu.

The concert will feature music by Benny Goodman, leader of the first-ever jazz ensemble concert at Carnegie Hall. Goodman was a favorite of Professor Emeritus Don Greene, who led the first-ever Jazz Ensemble at UW-Stevens Point in 1968. Another concert selection will be “Li’l Darlin’,” one of the selections from that first campus jazz concert. The guest artist band, Catharsis, will join with the Jazz Ensemble for Charles Mingus’s “Haitian Fight Song.”

Keberle, a trombonist and composer from New York City, leads Catharsis as an indie-jazz group. They have toured the United States and Europe and their recent release, “Azul Infinito,” was listed as one of the five jazz albums you need to hear by Billboard magazine.

Keberle has played backup for several pop stars, in the Saturday Night Live band, for a movie soundtrack and Broadway musicals. He is also a leading jazz educator and has directed the jazz program at City University of New York’s Hunter College since 2004.