New Trier Jazz Fest featuring Count Basie Orchestra

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What: Legendary Count Basie Orchestra directed by Dennis Mackrel headlines 30th Annual Frank Mantooth New Trier Jazz Festival

When: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: New Trier High School’s Gaffney Auditorium, 385 Winnetka Ave., Winnetka

How: Tickets are $30; Buy tickets online at www.ntjazz.com (beginning Dec. 3) or at the door.


Contact: Nic Meyer, Director of Jazz Ensembles at New Trier High School



The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra directed by Dennis Mackrel will headline the 30th annual New Trier Jazz Festival on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. The 19-piece big band, considered the gold standard for big band swing and an undisputed American treasure, will cap a free, daylong, non-competitive student jazz festival, one of the nation’s largest.


There will also be three free public concerts during the day:

- Adam Kromelow Trio, a New York jazz piano trio featuring New Trier alum Kromelow, called “one worth watching” and part of an “exciting new outfit.” Noon.

- Jazz Directors’ Big Band, comprised of the visiting schools’ band directors, on stage at 2:45 p.m.

- Eastman Jazz Ensemble, a top collegiate jazz group from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., performs at 4 p.m.


For the thirtieth year, the New Trier Jazz Festival will host more than 40 visiting high school and middle school jazz ensembles from around the country and Canada. Students spend the day performing for world-renowned jazz clinicians, attending workshops and master classes, and taking in concerts. All daytime events are free and open to the public.


The evening concert will open with selections played by New Trier’s top jazz group, Jazz Ensemble 1, followed by a 90-minute set by the incomparable 19-piece Legendary Count Basie Orchestra directed by Dennis Mackrel, which has won 17 Grammy awards for its big band swing sound.


William “The Count” Basie started his orchestra in 1936 and recorded with some of the greatest jazz vocalists of the time, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. Even when the big band era was declared “dead” during the 1960’s, the Count Basie Orchestra toured Europe and Asia to great acclaim. The group still plays to standing-room-only crowds across North America, Europe and Asia. 


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