WCSU presents 17th annual Jazz Fest April 26 through 28
Guitarists Jim Hall and Julian Lage and saxophonist George Garzone featured in concerts

DANBURY, CONN. — Master guitarists Jim Hall and Julian Lage and legendary saxophonist George Garzone will be among the featured performers during Western Connecticut State University ’s 17th annual Jazz Fest from Thursday, April 26, through Saturday, April 28, 2012.

Lage will appear as guest artist with the Jim Hall Quartet in a concert beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The Hall Quartet will perform following an opening session featuring several WCSU student jazz groups. Garzone will be the featured guest performer for the WCSU Jazz Orchestra concert to be presented at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 27, also in Ives Concert Hall.

Ticket prices for each concert are $15 for adults, and $10 for senior citizens and students; Western students with valid identification and student participants in the festival will be admitted free. Ticket information is available at www.wcsu.edu/tickets, or (203) 837-TIXX.

The Jazz Fest concert series will begin with a performance by the WCSU jazz faculty at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, in Ives Concert Hall. Admission will be free and open to the public.

In a jazz guitar career that began with his breakthrough as a member of the Chico Hamilton Quartet in 1955, Hall has collaborated in live and recorded performances with many of the leading jazz performers of the past half century including Sonny Rollins, Art Farmer, Bill Evans, Paul Desmond and Ron Carter. Hall’s reputation as one of the leading jazz guitarists of his generation has been matched by his emergence as a composer and arranger of pieces for string, brass and vocal ensembles over the past two decades. “Jim Hall is the reigning master of the jazz guitar,” the New Yorker observed. “This poetic player says more with fewer notes than any living improviser.”

Lage, who debuted at age 11 on the 1999 recording “Dawg Duos” and developed his skills as a protege of vibraphonist Gary Burton and collaborator with pianist Taylor Eigsti, achieved his own breakthrough album with the 2009 release of “Sounding Point,” a Grammy nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. That album and “Gladwell,” his 2011 release, “reflect Lage’s wide-ranging musical interests and talents, from chamber music, American folk and bluegrass to Latin, world, string-band tradition and modern jazz,” his website biography noted.

Garzone performs on saxophone with bassist John Lockwood and drummer Bob Gullotti in The Fringe, a jazz trio founded in 1972 that has become a fixture on the Boston music scene and has released three albums. He has toured widely and collaborated in live performances and more than 20 recordings with many of the leading jazz artists of the past four decades, including appearances with Joe Lovano and the Grammy-winning Joe Lovano Nonet. As a longtime instructor at prestigious music schools in Boston and New York, Garzone also has earned a reputation as a leading educator who has influenced the development of a new generation of jazz performers.

Since 1995, the WCSU Jazz Fest has brought leading jazz artists to WCSU each spring for a three-day program that combines concert performances with a series of music clinics offering master-class instruction and critiques for music students. Garzone and Hall will join professional jazz artists who hold full-time and adjunct faculty positions in the WCSU music department to conduct performance clinics during the festival.

For more information, contact Department of Music Chair Jamie Begian at (203) 837-8637 or begianj@wcsu.edu, or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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