1 November, 2017
Gadsden State Community College is hosting its inaugural Jazz Festival Nov. 9 at Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center. The clinics, performances and finale concerts are free to the public.
“It’s going to be an action-packed day filled with regional jazz ensemble performances, master classes by stellar clinicians, a finale concert and an after-party jam session in beautiful downtown Gadsden,” said Dr. Matt Leder, music director and instructor at Gadsden State. “This is not a competition, but rather an opportunity to perform. The festival welcomes students, community members, and professional musicians. This is an opportunity to come to Gadsden State and make music.”
The Jazz Festival, which is being held in cooperation with the Jazz Education Network, has three special guest artists who will participate: Adam Rapa, Dr. Adam Booker and Dr. Jonathan Campbell.
“The level of expertise coming to Gadsden to teach clinics and perform for our community is nothing less than amazing,” Dr. Leder said. “All three musicians are experts in their field, and we are so appreciative of their participation.”
Rapa is a trumpeter who also works as a composer, producer and educator. The Boston native performed in the hit Broadway show, “Blast!” He has performed over 2,000 shows across North America, Japan and the United Kingdom. Now living and freelancing in Copenhagen, Rapa has played lead trumpet in the Danish Radio Big Band, the Danish Radio Entertainment Orchestra and the Afro-Cuban All-Stars. Both of his albums – “Life on the Road” and “Rebelion” – are available on iTunes and at www.adamrapa.com.
Booker serves as assistant professor at Appalachian State University. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Double Bass Performance from the University of Texas, Austin. In addition to his academic instruction, Booker studied with Francois Rabbath, Eric Revis and Milt Hinton. He is a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy, in which he served as a bassist for U.S. Navy Band New Orleans until the end of his enlistment in 2005. He is a past member of The Hot Club of New Orleans, The Rob Block Quintet and The Devin Phillips Quintet.
Campbell currently serves as the director of jazz studies and professor of saxophone at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He is the 2017 recipient of the Minnesota Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and will be using the award to record an album with New York trumpeter Clay Jenkins. A winner of two DownBeat awards, Campbell received a Doctoral of Arts in Jazz Studies from the University of North Colorado.
Booker and Campbell will teach a clinic at 9 a.m. followed by a clinic taught by Rapa at 10 a.m.
The Jazz Festival performance schedule is as follows:
- 11 a.m. – Jacksonville State University Latin Ensemble
- 11:40 a.m. – JSU Jazz II
- 12:10 p.m. – Lunch Break
- 1 p.m. – Myles Probus Trio
- 1:40 p.m. – Wallace State Community College
- 2:20 p.m. – University of Montevallo
- 3 p.m. – JSU Jazz I
- 3:40 p.m. – JSU Faculty Combo
- 4:20 p.m. – University of Alabama
- 5 p.m. – Kings of Swing
A finale concert featuring the Gadsden State Show Band will begin at 7 p.m. The band will be directed by Dr. Leder and the special guest artists in the performance of such jazz tunes as “Don’t You Worry About a Thing,” “Diggin’ on James Brown,” “A Tisket A Tasket,” “Sway,” “September” and many more.
An after-party jam session will be held right after the concert at Blackstone Pub & Eatery. There will be a $2 charge to enter the establishment. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and sit in.
“We are exposing our community to the jazz culture,” Leder said. “We hope that everyone enjoys it so much that we are able to make this an annual event. Jazz is a genre that has something for everyone. Come join music.”
Contributors to the Jazz Festival include Gadsden State Community College, Jazz Education Network, the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts, Blackstone Pub & Eatery, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, the Etowah Youth Orchestra and Bob Moody.