Thursday September 18, 2014


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Brandon Jazz Festival attracts record number of entries

Submitted photo

New York Voice is one of the top four jazz groups in the world, and they will be performing four shows at this year’s Brandon Jazz Festival.

By Chris Tataryn Journal/Brandon

Originating in 1983, the Brandon Jazz Festival is a non-competitive event help every year on the campus of the Brandon University, acting as an educational forum where young musicians come from across the country to perform for crowds and adjudicators to receive written, taped, and verbal feedback and tips. The adjudicators are some of the best professional musicians and educators from across North America. “We are excited to have a record number of 173 entries this yeah,” said Brent Campbell, Director of the Brandon Jazz Festival. “Normally we get closer to 150, but this year we even have groups coming from areas are far away are Rocky Mountain House in Alberta.” Campbell thinks part of the reason for this record number is the headliner of this year’s festival; world-famous vocal group New York Voice. “New York Voice is one of the top four groups in the world,” said Campbell. “They are presenting four evening concerts over the three nights, and three of those shows are already virtually sold out.” Also featured is New York trumpet legend Greg Gisbert, who will be working with Brandon University music students for three days prior to the festival, and then joining them on stage for a performance. Throughout the three days of the festival, there are many discussion sessions with featured guest speakers, clinics, workshops with adjudicators, and special evening concerts with featured guest artists. “Our festival is decidedly non-competitive – emphasizing music education and more specifically, jazz education,” said Campbell. “Unlike other competitive festivals, there are no marks given; that is, no first, second, or third places awarded.” The festival is operated by volunteer workers from the Brandon School Division, Brandon University, and community. It totally relies on the funding from registrations, concert attendance, community donations, and government grants. The Brandon Jazz Festival has become a tremendous economic boost for the City of Brandon. With over 3000 participants coming in from out of town for the three days, just about every hotel room is taken, restaurants filled to capacity, and stores bustling with activity as students convince their directors for some shopping time. “We really encourage people to come down and see what some of these kids are capable of doing with their music,” said Campbell. “Come sit in and listen, you will be amazed. Some of the music these high school students can make is phenomenal.” With tickets to the event only running at $5, Brandonites are strongly encouraged to check out one of the biggest music festivals in Canada on March 15 until March 17.


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