Lansing, MI (August 2, 2010) – The 16th annual Lansing JazzFest (held August 6-7) will offer attendees an educational experience, thanks to the MICA Stage’s performers and instructors.
The Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art (MICA) is a non-profit organization acting as a catalyst for quality arts programming, historic renovation and community development. Educational opportunities in the arts are the focus of the MICA Stage.
Opening the stage Friday is the Jazz Percussion Clinic, featuring Dave Zerbe on percussion, Ed Fedewa on bass and Arlene McDaniels on piano. Zerbe started playing the drums when he was two years old and hasn’t stopped since. This director of percussion studies and bands has taught at Alma College since 1988.
“I wanted to teach because I had the desire to pass on what I have learned and help to spread a different philosophy of percussion instrument playing,” Zerbe says.
Also on Friday night is the Saxophone Workshop with Andrew Bishop. Bishop is an active composer, saxophonist, and clarinetist in highly diversified musical idioms. He holds five degrees in music and has received over 20 commissions from professional organizations and universities, in addition to numerous residencies, recognitions and awards from well-known national organizations.
Closing out the night Friday is The Michigan Trombone Project. Comprised of some of the finest trombone players in Michigan, along with a solid rhythm section, the Michigan Trombone Project delivers a new level of excellence in jazz trombone performance. The Michigan Trombone Project is the creation of Carl Poposki.
First thing Saturday, the Children’s Ballet Theatre takes the stage. For 30 years, CBT has thrilled mid-Michigan audiences with the talent and exuberance of its young dancers, ages 8 to 18. Under the direction of Artistic Director Gregory George, these dancers participate in creating their own choreography and exploring the inner artist. This diversity will be reflected in their performance at the JazzFest, where the CBT dancers will present an eclectic mélange of classical and contemporary ballet.
Following them is Happendance, a cultural treasure in the Lansing area and Michigan’s longest-running professional modern dance company. The dancers, age 12 to 18, are selected by audition and commit to pre-professional training and rehearsal in a variety of dance styles.
The Trumpet Showcase with Derrick Gardner, Etienne Charles and Mike Sailors will feature these three extraordinary jazz trumpet masters, each of whom will also be performing on the main stage line-up with their respective bands.
For something fresh and new, don’t miss the Jazz Guitar Clinic with Elden Kelly. A guitarist, singer and songwriter, he entrances audiences with a style composed of diverse elements that speak about something fresh, relevant, urgent and new in today’s world.
Jazz incorporates some of the most creative improvisational solo performances by musicians who are truly artistic masters. A solid rhythm section provides the heartbeat from which jazz performers explore their musical artistry and express themselves. The Rhythm Section Workshop will highlight the inner workings of laying down the groove, taking place on the MICA stage Saturday.
Closing the stage out on Saturday will be a Singer/Songwriter Workshop with Tracy Kash Thomas. Thomas, an award-winning performer and composer, will discuss songwriting concepts and tools she uses in her unique brand of songwriting. She will answer questions such as, “How does one write a song? Where do the ideas come from? Where do you start?”
For all of this and much more, join Old Town in celebrating the 2010 Lansing JazzFest!
The Lansing JazzFest is a free community music festival, attracting attendees from across the city, state, and region. It is produced annually by the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art (MICA) and Old Town Business and Art Development Association (OTBADA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to quality arts programming, the preservation of historic buildings and economic development. JazzFest is still accepting volunteers. See www.jazzlansing.com or call 517-371-4600 for more information.