Saturday’s 54th annual Tarleton Jazz Festival features Josh Hanlon & Friends

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STEPHENVILLE (March 17, 2016) — Josh Hanlon and Friends headlines the 54th annual Jazz Festival this Saturday, March 19, on the campus of Tarleton State University. The daylong festival includes clinics for visiting student musicians and concludes with a public performance of the Tarleton Jazz Ensembles, along with the guest artists, inside the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center.

The evening concert featuring the Tarleton Jazz Ensembles along with Josh Hanlon and Friends begins at 7:30 p.m. inside the Wells Fine Arts Center Auditorium. Admission is $10 and seating is general admission.

This year’s Tarleton Jazz Festival will focus on the rhythm section, says director of jazz bands Greg Ball, with guest artists and clinicians set to work with both high school and college musicians. This weekend’s concert also serves as a warm-up for the Tarleton jazz musicians in advance of their 10-day international concert tour of Italy in May.

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Hanlon, a visiting professor at Tarleton, will perform on piano along with Stockton Helbing on drums, Noel Johnston on guitar, James Driscoll on bass and Ken Edwards playing trumpet.

The Tarleton Jazz Festival is designed for high school and junior high jazz ensembles, including both big band and combos, Ball explains. “The clinical component of the festival is designed to provide students in-depth exposure to all aspects of jazz. The visiting bands will perform on one of Tarleton’s stages before three jazz educators who will provide written comments. Following their performances, the bands will work with the clinicians, receiving immediate feedback on positive aspects and help in those areas that need it.”

All Jazz Festival events during the day are open to the public and admission is free, except for the evening concert. Awards will be presented to outstanding bands in all classifications and musicians and soloists in each group.

Every year since 1962 the university has hosted the Tarleton Jazz Festival, a one-day event that brings students together with renowned jazz educators and to hear the guest artists. Previous guest artists include the Count Basie Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson, Bob Mintzer, David “Fathead” Newman, Rufus Reid and Maria Schneider, Jeff Coffin of Dave Matthews Band, John Faddis, and the 2015 guest artist Wycliffe Gordon.

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