Prairie State College Presenting 25th Annual Jazz Fest on February 22

CHICAGO HEIGHTS—(ENEWSPF)—February 8, 2013. Some of the nation’s top jazz artists will perform at Prairie State College’s (PSC) 25th Annual Jazz Fest at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22, in the auditorium of the college, located at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights.

Featured musicians include Chicago trumpeter Orbert Davis, drummer Ernie Adams, and bassist Larry Gray, as well as New Orleans saxophonist Ed Petersen and PSC’s professor of music, Valerie Nicholson, on piano. The concert also will include a performance by the Southland Jazz Ensemble, a big band comprised of some of the finest professional musicians in Chicago and the south suburbs.

Ticket prices are $15 for general admission. Students and senior citizens tickets are $10 each. Tickets are available in advance in the PSC Business Office from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Tickets also can be purchased at the door on the evening of the concert.

The fourth annual Howard Luckey Excellence in Jazz Leadership Award will be presented to PSC adjunct music faculty member Phillip Crews, who Nicholson calls “one of the finest music directors in the country.”

“He has had a significant impact on nurturing jazz musicians and performance at both Thornton High School and Rich Central High School,” she added. Crews also is director of the PSC Community Concert Band.

The Luckey award goes to a community member who has provided extensive and consistent support of jazz through teaching, performing, or organizing in a spirit of humility and community. The award was established in memory of Howard Luckey, a PSC social science faculty member who passed away in 2010. In January, Luckey was posthumously recognized as the PSC 2013 Hall of Honor inductee.

“Howard was a long time supporter of the Jazz Festival and music education,” said Nicholson. “He understood the importance of the arts in people’s lives and the impact they have on intellectual, creative, and emotional growth.”

The Friday performance is part of the annual two-day festival hosted by PSC, which also includes instrumental clinics led by the featured artists. The clinics are for local junior high and high school jazz musicians. It is an opportunity for students to receive instruction in technique and performance from the jazz masters.

Those who attend the evening concert also can enjoy the Christopher Art Gallery exhibit, “Collaborative Vision: Selections from The Poetic Dialogue Project,” featuring collaborative works by teams of artists and poets. The gallery will be open at 6:30 p.m. before the concert and through intermission.

For more information on the Jazz Fest, or to purchase tickets to the concert, call the college at (708) 709-3500.