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Drury hosts annual all-day jazz festival

For Immediate Release: February 24

Contact:
Tina Claussen
Director of Jazz Studies
Office: (417) 873-4078
E-mail: cclaussen@drury.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 24, 2009 — The 44th Drury Jazz Festival will take place on Saturday, March 6. Daytime events run from approximately 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a final concert that evening at 7:30 p.m. featuring Todd Strait on drums and Bob Bowman on bass with Drury Jazz Ensemble I.

The daytime events feature performances by approximately 30 high school and middle school jazz bands and combos from all over the state of Missouri. The students perform for and receive comments from a panel of jazz educators and performers. "The jazz festival provides a great opportunity for young jazz musicians around the area to learn more about jazz style and performance," says Dr. Tina Claussen, director of jazz studies at Drury University. Trophies are awarded to the outstanding bands in each class.

The evening concert features Drury's Jazz Ensemble I with guest performers Todd Strait on drums and Bob Bowman on bass. Strait has performed around the world as a jazz drummer, most recently with vocalist Karrin Allyson and pianist Eldar Djangirov. Bowman has recorded with many of the jazz world's greats, including Freddie Hubbard, Bud Shank, the Toshiko Akioshi/Lew Tabakin Big Band and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra.

According to Dr. Claussen, the jazz festival is a wonderful educational opportunity for students of all ages, "One of the most exciting elements of the jazz festival is the opportunity for Drury students to work and perform with professional jazz musicians. We are especially excited this year to have musicians with ties to the state of Missouri."

Daytime events are free and open to the public and take place in both Clara Thompson Hall and the Findlay Student Center. The evening concert, featuring Strait and Bowman, takes place at 7:30 in Clara Thompson Hall. Tickets for the evening concert are $5, and the performance is free for Drury faculty, staff and students. For more information, call the Drury music office at 873-7296.

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