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16th Annual Jazz Festival, Saturday, February 9 at 7 p.m.

Evanston Township High School proudly announces its 16th annual Jazz Festival with an evening concert by the Chicago State University Community Jazz Band. ETHS’ own Jazz Ensemble will open the concert in the ETHS auditorium under the direction of Matthew Bufis, director of Bands. The festival’s

noontime concert will feature the Lowdown Brass Band.

“For our 16th year hosting the festival, we are excited to showcase the depth of Chicago’s home-grown jazz talents,” said Matthew Bufis, ETHS Director of Bands. “Our festival provides middle and high school musicians a platform to challenge themselves, learn from distinguished professionals, and observe some of the best jazz artists proudly carrying on Chicago’s strong jazz tradition.”

The Chicago State University Community Jazz Band is led by Prof. Roxanne Stevenson and features soloists Jason Curry (saxophone) and Tim Froncek (drums). Throughout the day, 24 jazz ensembles from nine schools large and small will perform throughout the day to build their performance experience, sharpen their skills and showcase the amazing jazz talent that our area music programs are nurturing. Following each performance, the group will participate in a half hour clinic. Our adjudicators and clinicians are world-class professional musicians, university professors and educators who will share their expertise with each group during a 30-minute clinic following the group’s performance.


The Chicago State University Community Jazz Band was founded in 1992 by Prof. Stevenson in response to the need for music-reading sessions for local musicians. The Community Concert and Jazz Bands began with just five musicians, playing their major instruments for one ensemble and their secondary instruments for the other. Since then, the two ensembles have housed over 400 musicians—of all ages—and performed hundreds of selections from standard and contemporary repertoire.

The band has performed at Milt Trenier’s historic nightclub and the CSU Jazz Night Café, in addition to graduations, galas, and basketball games. The Community Jazz Band also has presented clinics and performances at the Illinois Music Education Association All-State Conference, Midwest Clinic, Jazz Education Network Conference, Hyde Park Courtyard Festival, Woodson Library Reopening Ceremony, and Macy’s Black History Month Celebration.

The Lowdown Brass Band (LDB) breaks the barrier between audience and performer with their live show, which features dynamic vocalists, hip-hop MCs, and body movement that gets any wallflower up and on their feet. The LDB has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with such artists as: Lake Street Dive, G Love and the Special Sauce, Dumpstaphunk and The Stooges Brass Band.


Scott Burns (plus Sax Clinic)

Pete Mills

Pharez Whitted (plus Trumpet Clinic)

Tom Tallman

Tim Coffman (plus Trombone Clinic)

Audrey Morrison

Tom Garling

Joel Spencer (plus Rhythm Section Clinic)

Joan Hickey (plus Rhythm Section Clinic)

Marlene Rosenberg (plus Rhythm Section Clinic)

Brass Technique Clinic: Tim Coffman

Saxophone Technique Clinic: Chip McNeill

Rhythm Section Clinic: Joan Hickey, Marlene Rosenberg, Joel Spencer


Established in 2004 as a non-competitive, all-day jazz immersion event, the Evanston Township High School Jazz Festival hosts nearly 50 middle and high school jazz groups from around the region. Students of all levels are inspired by professional musicians, enlightened by our clinics, lectures, and master classes, and encouraged to take their playing to the next level. This educational and cultural jazz festival has earned its distinction by providing the opportunity to showcase local, national, and international artists. It is the mission of the Evanston Township High School Jazz Festival to provide an important supplement to the students’ pursuit of jazz by highlighting the enduring elements and important innovations of this distinctly American music.

For more information on the Chicago State University music department,

For more information on the Lowdown Brass Band

Tickets for the 7 p.m. concert are $20 for adults,

$15 for students and seniors

All proceeds from tickets sales go towards

the expenses of the ETHS Jazz Fest.

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