The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, John Beasley’s MONK’estra and the Elmhurst University Jazz Band will be among the featured artists at the 55th Annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival, which audiences can attend in person or remotely this year.
The exciting lineup of guest artists also includes trumpeter and recording artist Wayne Bergeron, saxophonist and composer Denis DiBlasio, and Grammy-nominated trombonist Steve Wiest. They all will serve as adjudicators at the Festival, which will be held from Thursday, Feb. 24, through Sunday, Feb. 27.
One of the oldest and best-known collegiate jazz festivals in the country, the Elmhurst University Jazz Festival welcomes top college and university jazz bands from across the country to take part in four days of performances and education. The bands take turns performing for some of the greatest names in professional jazz today, who offer critiques and honors, and then give a performance of their own.
In 2021, after the 54th Jazz Festival became the first in its history to be presented entirely online, the overwhelmingly positive response inspired this year’s festival to be offered both in person in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, and via livestream.
The Festival kicks off at noon on Thursday, Feb. 24, with the High School Invitational, made possible by the generous support of the Sylvia and William W. Gretsch Memorial Foundation. The invitational will end with a feature performance by the guest artist/adjudicators and the Elmhurst University Jazz Band.
College and university band performances begin on Friday, Feb. 25, and that evening’s feature performance by John Beasley’s MONK’estra begins at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Feb. 26, a clinic and master class with Bergeron, DiBlasio and Wiest begins another day of college performances, followed that evening with performances by the acclaimed Elmhurst University Jazz Band and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
The Sunday, Feb. 27, program begins at noon with Chicago-area and Midwestern college and university ensembles, including bands from Harper College, Roosevelt University, and Michigan State and Purdue universities; and concludes with a performance by the guest artist/adjudicators with the Elmhurst University Jazz Band.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the 55th Annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival, visit elmhurst.edu/jazzfestival.