Wichita Jazz Festival at large and on WSU campus
The Wichita Jazz Festival, including Wichita State University's big band day and Connoisseur Series concert finale, will continue its annual tradition of presenting cutting-edge music from national jazz artists and furthering the education of young musicians by hosting concerts and clinics from April 14-17.
WSU's College of Fine Arts Connoisseur Series concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at the CAC Theater will feature guest artists singer Kathy Kosins, flutist Nicole Mitchell and her trio, and bassist Linda Oh and her trio. Tickets are $15, $13 and $6 through the Fine Arts Box Office, (316) 978-3233.
This year's festival, say organizers, is a showcase for women in the arts and society that will also address issues in women's health by bringing in jazz journalist Michelle Mercer and filmmaker Sabrina McCormick.
Wednesday, April 13
6 p.m. concert, Abode Home, 1330 E. Douglas. Free. Features four local jazz groups, led by David Lord, Beau Jarvis, Kurt Aiken and WSU director of jazz studies, Craig Owens.
7:30 p.m. reading, Watermark Books, 4701 E. Douglas. Free. Features Michelle Mercer, author of the official biography of legendary jazz artist Wayne Shorter, who will read from her latest book, "Will You Take Me as I Am," a work drawn together from extensive interviews with the iconic folk musician Joni Mitchell.
Thursday, April 14
7:30 p.m. film, CAC Theater, WSU campus. Free. Features Sabrina McCormick and a screening of her documentary film "No Family History," which follows the story of one woman's experience with breast cancer. The film was an independent selection at the Philadelphia Film Festival of 2009 and was selected as Best Real Time Documentary at the event.
Friday, April 16
8 a.m. jazz all day, CAC Theater, WSU campus. $10. Features bands from regional middle schools, high schools and colleges performing before professional clinicians.
7:30 p.m. symposium, 203 Rhatigan Student Center, WSU campus. Free. Features Mercer, McCormick and guest artists Kosins, Oh and Mitchell, and local jazz artist Lisa Hittle on women in the arts, health and everyday life.
Saturday, April 17
2 p.m. creativity workshop, McAdams Recreation Center, 1329 E. 16th St. Free. Features opportunities to interact with guest artists and witness their individual approaches to artistic creation. Kosins will discuss the relationship between jazz and visual art, while Mitchell will work with composition and improvisation.
7:30 p.m., Connoisseur Series concert opens with Kosins, followed by Oh and then Mitchell.
Detroit-based jazz singer Kathy Kosins, a veteran performer of almost 30 years, is known for her nontraditional approach to the jazz tradition. Local musicians Bill Caldwell (tenor saxophone), John Goering (WSU assistant professor, piano), Mark Foley (WSU associate professor, bass) and Steve Hatfield (drums) will accompany her.
Young bass star Linda Oh, armed with both acoustic and electric bass, draws upon a multitude of contemporary influences and provides an appealing alternative to existing trends in modern jazz. Linda received the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer's award in 2008 and completed her master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music, where she now teaches.
Chicago-based flutist Nicole Mitchell and her trio will close both the concert and the festival. As a composer, Mitchell explores new sounds and creative techniques. She was honored by Downbeat magazine as No. 1 in its Critics' Poll for Rising Star Flutist 2006 and was named "Chicagoan of the Year 2006" by the Chicago Tribune.
From its inception in 1972 to today, the Wichita Jazz Festival has always played an important role in the development of musical talent in the Midwest.