The 55th Annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival Begins February 24

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, John Beasley’s MONK’estra and the Elmhurst University Jazz Band will be among the artists featured at the 55th Annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival, which the public can attend in person or remotely this year.

The exciting lineup of guest artists also includes trumpeter and recording artist Wayne Bergeron, saxophonist and composer Denis DiBlasio and Grammy-nominated trombonist Steve Wiest. They will all serve as judges at the Festival, which will be held from Thursday February 24 to Sunday February 27.


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John Beasley and MONK’estra, a 15-piece big band, will perform on Friday, February 25 at the 55th Annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival.
– Courtesy of MONK’estra

One of the nation’s oldest and best-known college jazz festivals, the Elmhurst University Jazz Festival welcomes top college and university jazz bands from across the country to participate in four days of performance and education.

The bands take turns performing for some of the biggest names in professional jazz today, who offer reviews and accolades, then give their own performance.



Wayne Bergeron has recorded with contemporary jazz and pop artists, spanning the stylistic gamut from Ray Charles to Green Day.

Wayne Bergeron has recorded with contemporary jazz and pop artists, spanning the stylistic gamut from Ray Charles to Green Day.
– Courtesy of Wayne Bergeron


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

In 2021, after the 54th Jazz Festival became the first in its history to be presented entirely online, the overwhelmingly positive response inspired this year’s festival to be offered both in person in the Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel and in direct.

The festival kicks off at noon on Thursday, February 24 with the High School Invitational, made possible through the generous support of the Sylvia and William W. Gretsch Memorial Foundation. Bands from Lakes Community, Hinsdale Central, West Aurora and Northview High Schools as well as the DuPage Youth Jazz Ensemble will be featured.



Denis DiBlasio, executive director of Rowan University's Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz, will be featured at the 55th Annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival.

Denis DiBlasio, executive director of Rowan University’s Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz, will be featured at the 55th Annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival.
– Courtesy of Denis Di Blasio

The invitation will end with a performance by the guest artist/referees and the Elmhurst University Jazz Band.

Performances by college and university bands begin Friday, February 25, and that night’s performance by John Beasley’s MONK’estra begins at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, February 26, a clinic and masterclass with Bergeron, DiBlasio and Wiest begin another day of college performances, followed that evening by performances by the famed Elmhurst University Jazz Band and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

The Sunday, Feb. 27 program begins at noon with college and university ensembles from the Chicago area and the Midwest, including bands from Harper College, Roosevelt University, and Michigan State and Purdue Universities; and concludes with a guest artist/referee performance with the Elmhurst University Jazz Band.



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The 55th Annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival will feature Grammy-nominated trombonist and composer Steve Wiest.
– Courtesy of Steve Wiest

For more information and to purchase tickets for the 55th Annual Elmhurst University Jazz Festival, visit elmhurst.edu/jazzfestival.

To protect the health of our community, campus visitors will be required to wear a mask at all indoor events, regardless of their vaccination status. This requirement may change to reflect any new public health guidance.

Willie J. Johnson