In the hottest part of the summer, Marylanders and tourists can immerse themselves in cool jazz. From July 21-31, some of the brightest stars on the scene will teach and perform at the Maryland Summer Jazz Festival in Rockville, near the nation's capital.
For the fifth season, musicians can anticipate exciting workshops and jams to raise the bar on their playing. Jazz fans can look forward to four major concerts featuring acclaimed artists from the US and Canada.
The Artists International trumpet sensation Ingrid Jensen makes her first appearance at the festival this year. The young Canadian Juno Award winner is one of the most sought-after performing artists in the world.
Fellow Canadian saxophonist and composer Jeff Antoniuk is known as Maryland's "Pied Piper of Jazz." With many popular recordings and continental tours under his belt, he is a teacher, performer and the artistic director of Maryland Summer Jazz.
This year guitar-lovers can enjoy two artists at the top of their game. Tim Miller offers a distinctive voice to the world of jazz guitar. Guitar Player Magazine characterized his playing as "pure melody consciousness with remarkable control." His career has taken him to Paris, New York and Boston, where he teaches at Berklee College of Music.
Steve Herberman returns to the Maryland festival with his unique seven-string guitar. Consistently lauded by critics, his latest release, Ideals, rose to No. 10 on the US jazz charts.
Trumpet player Tom Williams has toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and was a featured soloist with the Jazz Ambassadors and Army Blues ensembles. He has also performed with Pattie LaBelle, Anita Baker and Stevie Wonder.
These artists will join over a dozen others on stage and in festival classrooms.
Jazz Camp for Grown-Ups
At the heart of the festival is a jazz day camp featuring two sessions of intensive instruction for adults.
Scholarships and internships encourage younger talent from high school to college age.
Workshops are structured to help gifted amateurs and semi-pros improve technique and improvisational skills, moving them "from the basement to the bandstand." Teachers represent many university jazz programs and are the same fantastic players heard in the public concerts.
Public performances continue to expand. The event kicks off with a July 21 concert featuring Ingrid Jensen with Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update at Blues Alley, the nation's premiere jazz club, located in the Georgetown district of Washington, DC.
Co-sponsored by the City of Rockville, a free family-oriented community concert will be offered at twilight on July 23 at the Rockville Town Square.
Additional all-stars and student concerts will be held on both July 24 and 31 at Saint Mark Presbyterian Church in Rockville at 10701 Old Georgetown Road.
The deadline for jazz workshop registration is June 30.
Concert tickets are available May 1, 2009, and concert admission ranges from free to $25.
Early purchase is recommended since all events sold out last year. For more information, call 443-702-7016 or visit http://www.marylandsummerjazz.com.