by Kelly Rogge
Kansas City Kansas Community College will be playing host to students from middle school, high school and college this week during the 2014 Kansas City Jazz Summit.
The summit is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 23 to 25 in the KCKCC Performing Arts Center, 7250 State Ave. The event is free and open to the public.
“The goal (of the Jazz Summit) is to attract jazz band, combos and choirs from across the United States and hopefully Canada, making Kansas City a destination location,” said Jim Mair, professor of music and director of instrumental studies at KCKCC. “There will be great performances all three days, world class adjudication and on Thursday, there is the KC Heritage ‘Basically Basie’ competition with text voting – a first for jazz festivals.”
The Jazz Summit caters to jazz groups at the middle school, high school and college level in both competitive and non-competitive sessions. This not only includes bands, but choirs and combos as well.
There are three levels of participation. These include:
· Jazz Summit. A non-competitive group where jazz groups perform for adjudicators. No winners are named, but outstanding groups and soloists are recognized. Groups that participate in this category receive a plaque or trophy.
· Kansas City Jazz Heritage – “Basically Basie.” This is a competitive category on Thursday of the Jazz Summit. Groups are required to pick three songs from an established list of Count Basie repertoire. These selections must have been recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra. Judging is based on the authenticity and attention to detail. The top two groups will compete for audience voting, which is done by text message. The winning group receives a traveling plaque. Blue Valley Northwest High School has won the trophy the last three years.
· Jazz Tyro. This is specifically designed for younger bands with little experience. Those that participate receive positive comments as well as a clinic following their performance.
“Band enrollment is up 60 percent,” Mair said of this year’s summit. “Bands are coming from South Dakota, St. Louis, Oklahoma and Wichita, Kan.”
Local schools attending the Jazz Summit include Piper, Basehor-Linwood, Turner, Lansing, Tonganoxie, Shawnee Mission East, Blue Valley Northwest, Olathe Northwest, Olathe North, Shawnee Mission Northwest and Johnson County Community College. The KCKCC Jazz Ensemble will perform at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, followed by the KCKCC Jazz Combo at noon. The KCKCC Standard Jazz Choir will perform at 12:30 p.m. Friday.
For complete schedules for all three days of the event, visit www.kansascityjazz.org/kansascityjazzsummit.html. For more information or for questions, contact Jim Mair at email@example.com or by phone at 913-288-7503.