40th Annual Jazz Festival Will Feature Guest Trombonist Marshall Gilkes

Jan. 8, 2015

Welcoming junior high and high school ensembles from across the Midwest, the 40th annual Illinois Wesleyan University Jazz Festival will be held Jan. 24. A free public concert will be held at 12:45 p.m. in Presser Hall’s Westbrook Auditorium.

This year’s event will also feature trombonist Marshall Gilkes. A graduate of The Julliard School’s jazz program, Gilkes is a trombonist and composer. Gilkes has released multiple albums, and has been voted a "Rising Star" by DownBeat magazine’s Critics Poll on multiple occasions. He has recorded and played with a variety of artists and ensembles, including the David Berger Jazz Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and Barbra Streisand.

Currently an artist for Edwards Instruments, Gilkes continues to work regularly with the Maria Schneider Orchestra and the Edmar Castañeda Trio while teaching and offering master classes at various institutions.

The Jazz Festival was started in 1976 to offer an opportunity for junior high and high school ensembles to bolster the level of jazz offered at their schools by participating in a non-competitive festival. Festival participation includes non-competitive performances by high school and middle school ensembles, a recording of each performance with judges’ comments, a performance by IWU’s premiere Jazz Ensemble, a private, 20-minute clinic for each performing group and 45-minute individual masterclasses presented by each adjudicator. 

Clinicians for the festival will include Dick Kelley, Southern Illinois University assistant professor of saxophone and director of jazz studies (saxophones), John Cooper, Western Illinois University director of jazz studies and professor of music (trumpet), Austin Seybert, adjunct faculty at Millikin University (trombone), Rick Haydon, director of the guitar program and professor of music at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (guitar), Tom Marko, director of jazz studies at Illinois State University (drums) and Drew Dahan, visiting instructor in music at Illinois Wesleyan (vocal jazz). 

By Tia Patsavas ’16