The annual event has gained a reputation as one of the best jazz festivals in the southwestern United States, bringing together top professional artists, clinicians and student musicians for an entertaining and educational weekend of jazz. Festival sponsors include Baylor Scott & White Health and the Central Texas Jazz Society.
Headliners for this year’s festival are trombonist Andre Hayward and vocalist Kevin Mahogany. Hayward is well known for performing with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and currently serves as jazz trombone specialist at The University of Texas Butler School of Music. Mahogany has had an outstanding career as a singer, having recorded more than 10 albums and sung with an array of artists over the years.
Hayward will perform with the Temple College Jazz Ensemble and TC7 on Friday, April 1, and Mahogany will perform with the Temple Jazz Orchestra on Saturday, April 2. Both concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students, and may be purchased at the door or in advance at the Division of Fine Arts office at Temple College.
Festival founder and co-director Tom Fairlie said the Saturday evening concert will be different from previous years in that it will include some Motown favorites as well as jazz pieces. Mahogany and the Temple Jazz Orchestra will debut three new arrangements of some of Fairlie’s favorite Motown pieces arranged by trumpeter Tim Cates.
“I grew up in northern Ohio and we used to listen to an AM radio station called CKLW out of Detroit, so I was steeped in the Motown tradition as a teenager,” Fairlie said. Detroit was the home of Motown records and the Motown sound was one of the most played styles of music during the 60’s and early 70’s.
The Saturday evening concert will also feature a new arrangement of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Sparky Thomason and “African Skies” by Benjamin Irom.
“This year I wanted to do something special and a little different since it will be my last festival as Director of the Division of Fine Arts at Temple College,” said Fairlie, who is retiring from Temple College at the end of the 2015-16 school year.
The Friday evening concert featuring Andre Hayward, the Temple College Jazz Ensemble and the faculty jazz ensemble TC7 will include pieces by Henry Mancini, Rodgers & Hammerstein and John Clayton.
The festival will also feature performances by school groups throughout the day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, including a performance by the Temple College Vocal Jazz Ensemble at noon on Saturday, April 2. These concerts are all free and open to the public.
For more information on the festival, visit www.templejc.edu/jazzfestival or call the Temple College Fine Arts Office at 254-298-8555.