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February 18, 2002 - GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (February 18, 2002) The 29th Annual Aquinas College Jazz Festival will be held this year on April 13 and 14. The daytime performances have not been finalized but we have confirmed our evening concerts.
On Saturday night, April 13, at 9 p.m. in the Aquinas College Art and Music Center, Kretschmer Recital Hall, two great jazz acts will perform at the Aquinas College Jazz Festival Evening Concert. Featured on the first half of the program will be former Count Basie Band member and trombone soloist extraordinaire, Dennis Wilson. Wilson will enlist the support of Grand Rapids jazz musicians including Dr. Paul Brewer, Aquinas' Director of Bands. Dr. Brewer will join Wilson as the trombone duo recreates and further extends the famous trombone stylings of the great Jay
Kai Duo of the 1950s and '60s. Both Wilson and Brewer grew up listening to and emulating J.
K., so the evening's performance should be a real treat for all Grand Rapids jazz fans.
Saturday evening's second performance will feature Dr. Robin Connell who will sing and play piano with her piano trio as they interpret the American Songbook of compositions by George Gerswhin, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington, and many others. Back by popular demand from her appearance at last year's Jazz Festival performance, Robin will demonstrate her skills as a singer-pianist in the jazz idiom. Robin spent twelve years in New York City learning her singer-pianist craft, making this a performance you won't want to miss.
On Sunday night, April 14, the Aquinas College Jazz Festival will present the debut of the newly formed Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra (GRJO). In the same manner that the Village Vanguard Orchestra in New York City is carrying on the legacy of it's late leader, the great drummer, Mel Lewis, the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra will continue to honor and build upon the legacy of the late, great Dr. Bruce Early. Under the directorship of Aquinas College music professor, Dr. Paul Brewer, the GRJO will be performing a variety of works from the big band era along with some new compositions and arrangements. So, don't miss the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra's Grand Debut at the Aquinas College Jazz Festival!
Please call the Art and Music Center at (616) 459-8281 ext. 3402 or e-mail for the entire weekend schedule and ticket prices.