University of Idaho hosts weekend of jazz



From left, Graham Dechter, Dave Hagelganz and Kevin Kanner, the All-Star Quartet, play at the 2016 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen reporter

The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho begins today and continues through Saturday.

This is the 53rd year of the festival, said Joshua Skinner, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival manager and instructor in UI’s School of Music.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for building music education,” Skinner said. 

The festival is a chance for the public to attend concerts given by well-known performers and for local student musicians to play with jazz artists from around the country.

“It brings world class artists into the region that normally we wouldn’t have coming through the WSU or UI campus in such a concentration,” Skinner said.

There are workshops throughout both Friday and Saturday that are free and open to the public, Skinner said, and one of his favorite parts of the event is getting to see UI students interact with the performers.

For people who have never been to the festival before, Skinner said he recommends attending the evening concerts because this is when the headlining musicians perform.

According to the festival website, musicians this year include the Lionel Hampton Big Band, vocal quartet Vertical Voices and saxophonist Joshua Redman, among others.

Skinner said the festival would not be possible without about 500 volunteers who oversee site management, equipment movement and other logistical details of the event. Tickets for the festival are available through purchase online on the UI website.