Prairie State College Presenting 27th Annual Jazz Fest Feb. 20

CHICAGO HEIGHTS–(ENEWSPF)–February 11, 2015.  Some of the nation’s top jazz artists will perform at Prairie State College’s (PSC) 27th annual Jazz Fest at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 20, in the Barnes & Noble College Auditorium in the Conference Center of the PSC main campus, located at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights.

Featured musicians include Chicago trumpeter Orbert Davis, drummer Ernie Adams, Bassist Larry Gray and saxophonist Ari Brown, as well PSC’s Professor of Music Valerie Nicholson on piano.

“This year, we are thrilled to have Ari Brown join the team. Not only is he a master musician, he brings a wealth of experience as a teacher for the visiting schools,” said Nicholson, who also coordinates the festival.

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 Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets also can be purchased at the door on the evening of the concert.

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. Select students from the instrumental clinics also will be invited to perform with the guest artists during the Friday evening performance.

The sixth annual Howard Luckey Excellence in Jazz Leadership Award also will be presented. The 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 volunteered to assist with the festival for years until he passed away in 2010.

This year’s recipient is Andy Hoefle, who is a retired professor of music from South Suburban College (SSC) where he taught for 16 years. While at SSC, he directed the Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Symphonic Band, as well as taught Introduction to Jazz, Introduction to African American Music, Introduction to Rock and Roll and low brass applied music. Also during his time at SSC, he founded the SSC Jazz Festival and the SSC Guest Artist series. Prior to his work at SSC, Hoefle had worked with the Orangeville Community School District, Lanark Community School District, Highland Community College, Western Illinois University and Vandercook College of Music. 

Hoefle is a past recipient of the Highland Community College Faculty Excellence Award and the Illinois Community College Board Outstanding Faculty of the Year award.  He says his greatest rewards are his students who have continued to pursue and succeed in their passions, both in and out of the music field.

Those who attend the evening concert also can enjoy the Christopher Art Gallery exhibit, “Obsession: works by Reginald Baylor, Mary Croteau, and Jordan Scott.” The gallery will be open to concert guests during intermission.

For more information on the Jazz Festival, or to purchase tickets to the concert, call 708-709-3500.