Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Coming to Idaho This Week

Matt Wilson’s Arts and Crafts among the highlights

The 2012 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival will take place this week, Feb. 22-25, in Moscow, Idaho. Some of the highlights and new offerings for this year’s festival include:

Wednesday Performance Invitations

In lieu of the traditional college and elementary day performances, select schools have been invited to participate in special sessions with jazz masters on Wednesday, Feb. 22. The schools include:

· Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., directed by Dave Snider (jazz combo)

· Blatchley Middle School, Sitka, Alaska, directed by Mike Kernin (middle school band)

· Franklin Middle School, Pullman, Wash., directed by Theresa Meacham (vocal ensemble)

· University of Montana, Missoula, Mont., directed by Johan Eriksson (instrumental combo)

· Jennifer Junior High School, Lewiston, Idaho, directed by Cheryl Forster (middle school band)

· ArtsWest Elementary, Eagle, Idaho, directed by Jeff Baker (vocal ensemble)

Groups were selected through interest level of the directors and the schools in previous years. This supports the “no winners” approach that is new to the festival in recent years, where the focus has moved from top groups or performers to celebrating diverse styles and technique.

Lionel Hampton Youth Jazz Orchestra

Under the vision and guidance of John Clayton, artistic director, the festival will bring together the Lionel Hampton Big Band with the talent of youth to create The Lionel Hampton Youth Jazz Orchestra. College students auditioned and were selected to participate in this band, working side by side with the stellar talents of the Big Band members.

In January, students came together on the University of Idaho campus to rehearse with John Clayton in preparation for the 2012 festival. During the festival the students will rehearse with the professional players in the band, transforming their individual skills through the power of the ensemble.

On Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8:30 p.m., in the ASUI Kibbie-Activity Center, the festival will pay tribute to Lionel Hampton with the first Lionel Hampton Youth Jazz Orchestra, directed by Clayton. Prepare for a hard swinging set of music that celebrates a legacy of Lionel Hampton. Featured artists will include multi-instrumentalist James Morrison, vocalist extraordinaire Carmen Bradford and vibes master Hendrik Meurkins.

Businesses Join the Groove

Part of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival’s commitment to community includes strengthening the involvement of the local businesses in the festival, providing opportunities for local players to interact with visiting festival musicians, and offering “after festival hours” performance venues where the music can continue past regular concert hours.

Those of the appropriate age are encouraged to attend the many After Hours jam sessions and performances at one or more of the following locations:

· Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Gambino’s Restaurant, 11:00 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 308 W. 6th St. in Moscow.

· Thursday, Feb. 23 – Best Western University Inn, 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 1516 Pullman Rd., Moscow; Bucer’s Coffeehouse Pub – Trio, 11 p.m. – 1:00 a.m., 201 S. Main St.

· Friday, Feb. 24 – Blues Brews and BBQ – Duo, 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 112 W. 6th St, Moscow; Best Western University Inn: 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 1516 Pullman Rd., Moscow; Bloom Restaurant – Duo: 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 403 S. Main St. Moscow; Bucer’s Coffeehouse Pub – Trio: 11 p.m. – 1:00 a.m., 201 S. Main St.; Nectar Restaurant – Duo: 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 105 W. Sixth St. in Moscow; John’s Alley – TubaLuba (Cover Charge): 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 114 E. 6th St.

· Saturday, Feb. 25 – Bloom Restaurant – Duo, 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. 403 S. Main St., Moscow; Best Western University Inn, 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 1516 Pullman Rd. Moscow; Blues Brews and BBQ – Duo, 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 112 W. 6th St, Moscow; Bucer’s Coffeehouse Pub-Trio, 8-11 p.m., 201 S. Main St.; Nectar Restaurant – Duo, 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 105 W. Sixth St. in Moscow, John’s Alley – Flowmotion (Cover Charge): 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., 116 E. 6th St. in Moscow.

Thursday “Club Hop”

The Thursday, Feb. 23 evening concert is an open-seating format that features three separate groups at three separate venues on the University of Idaho’s Moscow campus. Each act will perform two sets with staggered venue start times. Tickets to Thursday evening’s concert are exchanged for a wristband at the door, which allows admission to all three venues. Shuttle service between venues is provided.

· Matt Wilson’s Art and Crafts featuring Terell Stafford, Larry Goldings and Martin Wind – two sets, 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., Administration Building Auditorium

· Ray Brown Tribute featuring John Clayton, Larry Fuller and Karriem Riggins – two sets, 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., Student Union Buidling Ballroom

· Sara Gazarek and Carmen Bradford with Rickey Woodard and the All-Star Quartet – two sets, 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Haddock Performance Hall

Dance Workshops

The University of Idaho Dance Center offers a variety of “hands-and-feet on” workshops designed just for jazz festival participants Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. These energizing, jazz-related sessions move from swing to hip hop; West African Dance and steppin’; from salsa to broadway, Bollywood to boogie. Participants even get a chance to try out their new skills in the swing and Latin dance classes on the dance floor at the Saturday night concert. Classes are led by university faculty, regional instructors and specialty dance instructors, and will be offered on Wednesday at the Martin Wellness Center and on Thursday through Saturday in the Physical Education Building on the University of Idaho campus. They last about an hour each. All workshops are free and open to the public.

Prichard Event

The community kick-off event for the festival will take place at the University of Idaho’s Prichard Art Gallery on Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 5-8 p.m., 414 S. Main St. in Moscow. The reception is co-hosted by the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and will include an unveiling of this year’s 2012 commemorative, hand-screened festival poster.

This year’s exhibit will be “Uncommon River,” the next in the series of exhibits celebrating the Prichard’s 25th anniversary. Invited curator and immediate past director, Gail Siegel, created an exhibit focusing on rivers as metaphor and physical resource. The exhibit includes work by Christo, Christine Destrempes, Raymond Ghirardo and Megan Roberts, Philip Govedare, C.S. Thayer and Jen Torres. Destrempes will be visiting the Palouse for two weeks working with area youth and community members creating an installation specifically for the exhibit.

For more information, visit JazzFest or call (208) 885-5900.