Running strong for the past 25 years, the West Chester University Jazz Festival is still attracting jazz connoisseurs from around the area. This past week was no exception as the university’s College of Visual and Performing Arts was filled with renowned jazz musicians, West Chester music majors, and high school student bands, united for a night of performance.
March 18- March 24 transformed the university into a rare treat for the local jazz scene. By day, master class workshops were taught to West Chester Jazz students during class time. By nightfall, performances by trumpeter Dave Douglas, guitarist Brad Shepik, the WCU Faculty Band, and local high schools illuminated the Madeline Wing Adler Theater.
In addition to benefiting the university students and local scene, the Jazz Festival hosted a whole day dedicated to high school jazz musicians as well. Students from eleven local high schools flooded the campus on Saturday morning. These students were offered lessons and workshops with university professors and later in the day had the opportunity perform as a portion of the show.
The festival typically lasts four to five days and is always a highly-anticipated event for the college. Originally started by singer-guitarist and retired music professor Lee Southall in 1990, the event strives to bring an extra flair to the West Chester jazz community. With so much local talent, it certainly proves to be a difficult task choosing which musicians to bring in, and with the final performances coming to a close, as university professor Marc Jacoby event remarked that the school is already booking acts for next year.
Colleen Goldhorn is a third-year student majoring in graphic design and minoring in art history and marketing. She can be reached at CG796546@wcupa.edu
Jeffrey Holmes is a third-year student double-majoring in Philosophy and English. He can be reached at JH791223@wcupa.edu.