The Kenosha Unified School District Department of Fine Arts, in collaboration with Dave Sturino of Hansen’s Pool and Spa, will present their Annual Jazz Festival on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Indian Trail High School and Academy, 6800 60th St. The public is welcome to attend all activities leading up to the evening performance.
Students will be involved in performance sessions with guest artists and clinicians Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Festival activities will conclude with a public performance at 6:30 p.m. featuring all KUSD jazz ensembles and the KUSD alumni/staff big band.
Tickets for the evening performance are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and staff, and $5 for students. The concert also will be streamed on the KUSD YouTube channel at no charge. All auditorium seats are reserved and tickets can be purchased at www.kusd.edu/finearts.
This year’s KUSD Jazz Festival will feature saxophonist, composer, producer and educator Bobby Watson. Watson grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and received his bachelor’s in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Miami in 1975. After graduating, he moved to New York and received his “doctorate” as musical director of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers from 1977-1981. In addition to his work as leader of the Grammy-nominated quintet Horizon, Watson led a group known as the High Court of Swing (a tribute to Johnny Hodges), led the Tailor-Made Big Band and is a founding member of the acclaimed 29th Street Saxophone quartet.
Watson has an extensive discography, including 39 recordings as a leader, and has composed more than 100 pieces of music. He was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in 2013. A year later, he was one of the inaugural inductees into the then-newly established 18th and Vine Jazz Walk of Fame, joining fellow Kansas City-area musician Pat Metheny and four of the city’s most historically significant jazz icons: Count Basie, Jay McShann, Charlie Parker and Mary Lou Williams.
This year’s festival is made possible by a generous donation from Hansen’s Pool & Spa. Participating KUSD band directors are Karl Mueller, Bradford High School; Joe Tackett, Harborside Academy; Jeremy Kriedeman, Indian Trail High School and Academy; Kathy Ripley, Tremper High School; Michael Monk, Mahone Middle School; Matt Maccari, Lance Middle School; Nathan Larsen, Lincoln Middle School; Katie Poole, Bullen Middle School and Lucas Dickinson, Washington Middle School.
For additional information, please contact Scott Plank, coordinator of fine arts, at 262-359-6388.