Marylanders and tourists will be treated to a cool helping of jazz when the Maryland Summer Jazz Festival stages its fourth annual event July 15-25, 2008 in Rockville, near the nation's capital. For musicians, the event offers exciting workshops and jams: a chance for gifted amateurs and semi-pros to test their mettle. Jazz lovers can enjoy three major concerts featuring renowned artists from North America and Europe.
The Teaching Artists
Held at Saint Mark Presbyterian Church in Rockville, the festival features many critically acclaimed performers and instructors.Virtuoso saxophone player and Yamaha recording artist Jeff Coffin flies in from Nashville, making time from a far-reaching touring schedule with the Grammy Award-winning ensemble Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
Saxophonist and composer Jeff Antoniuk is artistic director and a popular teacher and performer at Maryland Summer Jazz. His 2007 CD, Here Today with the Jazz Update band, rapidly climbed the jazz charts in the US and hit No. 2 in Canada, Antoniuk's homeland.
Guitar lovers take note: Steve Herberman returns for the fourth season. According to Jazz Times, "Steve Herberman exhibits a vast harmonic palette involving uncommon stretches on the fretboard along with a real capacity to burn on fluent single note lines."
Each year, new sounds are heard onstage and in festival classrooms. Check out the Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian sounds of bassist Pepe Gonzalez. Born in Spain and living in Washington, DC, he has appeared on many recordings and in festivals in Europe and the Caribbean.
Trumpet player Alex Norris, Ph.D. began his Latin Jazz exploration with Baltimore/DC-based Rumba Club and went onto work with Giovanni Hildago and Monguito Santamaria. Tours with Steve Winwood and Miami Sound Machine show the pop side of his career. He'll teach and perform at Maryland Summer Jazz 2008 along with ten other jazz artists.
The Event Keeps Growing
Maryland Summer Jazz began as a three-day jazz day camp with 36 students. Workshops, jams and concerts have been added as the event grew. Last year, fans and students came from many states - some for a day or evening, some for two weeks of jazz immersion.
Perhaps because of the American Idol craze, vocalists clamored for inclusion in this year's festival. Thus vocal workshops have been added to help aspiring jazz singers reach their musical goals. The jazz camp for adults and gifted high school musicians is still the heart of the festival. But public performances have been extended this year to include a July 15 concert at Blues Alley, the nation's premiere jazz club, located in Georgetown. Additional concerts will be held on July 18 and 25 at Saint Mark Presbyterian Church in Rockville at 10701 Old Georgetown Road.
The deadline for jazz workshop registration is June 30.
Event tickets are available May 1, 2008.
For more information call 410-349-1082 or visit http://www.marylandsummerjazz.com.