Some of the nation’s top jazz artists will perform at Prairie State College’s (PSC) 24th annual Jazz Fest at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17, 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.
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 third 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 passed away in 2010.
“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.
“This year's concert is going to be fantastic, as usual,” said Adjunct Professor Robert Calhoon, who coordinated the fest. “We are so fortunate that some of that some of the finest and busiest jazz musicians in the country take time out of their schedules to come to Prairie State, work with students for two very full days, and then hang out and play a concert on Friday night.”
Those who attend the evening concert also can enjoy the Christopher Art Gallery exhibit, “Presence-Absence,” a two-person show featuring paintings by Sergio Gomez and Mark Zlotkowski. The gallery will be open before the concert and through intermission.
For more information on the Jazz Festival, or to purchase tickets to the concert, call the college at (708) 709-3500.