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23rd Annual City Jazz Festival

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Since its inception in 1991, the City Jazz Festival has grown to an event hosting dozens of student jazz groups from throughout California, performing in three different venues at Fresno City College. The emphasis has always been on education. A panel of jazz educators critiques the students' performances, and they attend a variety of workshops presented by some of the greatest professional jazz performers in the country. Scholarships to the Berklee College of Music, FCC, and many summer music camps are awarded to outstanding student performers. The event culminates with a performance by the featured guest artist, accompanied by the FCC Jazz Ensemble. Here are a few facts and figures based on the 20 year history of the festival:

  • Over 700 student jazz groups have participated
  • Over $100,000 in scholarships have been awarded

Featured guest artists have included a who's who of jazz:

  • Saxophonists Bob Mintzer, Ernie Watts, and Bob Sheppard
  • Trumpeters Bobby Shew, Ingrid Jensen, and Gilbert Castellanos
  • Guitarists Anthony Wilson and Mark Whitfield
  • Drummers Jeff Hamilton and Steve Houghton
  • Trombonists Conrad Herwig and Andy Martin
  • Vocalists Tierney Sutton, Kevin Mahogany, Kristin Korb, and Sunny Wilkinson

City Jazz 2013

This year's festival will include performances and workshops by jazz saxophone legend and multiple Grammy winner Tom Scott. Highlights of City Jazz 2013 include:

  • Thursday, April 4: Student performances from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 4: Jazz workshops (times TBA)
  • Thursday, April 4: Tom Scott, FCC Jazz Ensemble (FCC Theatre, 7:30 p.m.)

Jazz at FCC

City Jazz is part of a strong jazz studies program offered at Fresno City College, directed by festival founder and jazz ensemble director Mike Dana. FCC's jazz program is the most diverse in central California, and has earned a national reputation. Performance groups include the Jazz Ensemble, Latin Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Combos. Courses in jazz improvisation, theory, history, and arranging are also offered. Jazz faculty members include Mike Dana, Larry Honda, George Ramirez, Julie Dana, Nye Morton, and Dale Engstrom. In addition to the festival, the jazz program at FCC has brought many other performers to perform at work with students. These include The Langston Hughes Project, guitarists Nguyen Le, Frank Gambale, and John Stowell, and most recently the Grammy-nominated University of North Texas 1:00 Lab Band.

  • Featuring Guest Artist Tom Scott
  • Thursday, April 4
  • FCC Theatre 7:30 p.m.
  • Tickets $15 general, $12 senior, JazzFresno member, $10 students

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