The Indiana Insider Blog

Valparaiso University Hosts 31st Annual Jazz Festival

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Indiana may not be as well-known for its music as other things, say the Indy 500, but we do have many opportunities for displaying musical talents, both local and†professional.

The Valparaiso University Annual Jazz Festival is one example of a venue that provides high-quality music. The Valparaiso University Jazz Festival†has run annually since 1985. That makes it a seasoned part of the music scene in the northwest part of the state.

Several parts of the festival make it appealing. First, it occurs for a full week from Mar 28 Ė Apr 2, 2016. If I can’t make it to one performance on a certain night, I could hopefully make it to several others during the week.

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Second, the lineup of musicians is outstanding! †The Benny Green Trio and legendary Count Basie Orchestra are both scheduled to play at the festival. And you can’t beat the concert admission prices. They are low-cost and some performances are free!

The Benny Green Trio will play on Friday, April 1, at 8 pm in the Harre Union Ballroom. Benny Green is regarded as one of the foremost jazz pianists of the 21st century. Tickets: $5 Valparaiso students; $10 alumni, faculty, staff and seniors; $15 general public.

The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra has been around for 80 years (to give perspective thatís prior to World War II). The musicians for the legendary Count Basie Orchestra have won 18 Grammy awards and played before elite crowds, including royalty. The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra will provide jazzís full sound on Saturday, April 2, 8 pm in the Harre Union Ballroom. Tickets: $10 Valparaiso students; $20 general public.

Out of town guests are not the only performers at the festival. Local high school musicians as well as the Valparaiso University Jazz Ensemble will open the Valparaiso University Jazz Festival on Monday, March 28, and Tuesday, March 29, in the Harre Union Ballroom. These performances begin at 6pm each night. These concerts are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, March 30, 7 pm, the Northwest Indiana Jazz Educators Big Band will perform musically in the Harre Union Ballroom. Tickets: free to Valparaiso students, faculty and staff; $8 alumni and seniors; $10 general public.

Fareed Haque

The next night the Valparaiso University Jazz Ensemble with guest Fareed Haque on guitar will play at 7:30 pm in the Harre Union Ballroom. Tickets: free to Valparaiso students, faculty and staff; $8 alumni and seniors; $10 general public.

The Valparaiso University Faculty Jazz Trio with guest Art Hoyle will also perform during the week. The concerts take place on the Valparaiso University campus so plenty of parking and good concert hall facilities are available.

Tickets for the Valparaiso University Annual Jazz Festival are available at valpo.edu/union or by visiting the Harre Union Welcome Desk or by calling 219-464-5007. It may be a good idea to contact the university on the status of ticket availability prior to showing up.

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Written by : Kayleen Reusser is a lifelong resident of northeast Indiana and loves to write about her home state to excite others about its treasures. She has written 11 childrenís books and had stories published in Chicken Soup, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Bluffton News-Banner.