Jazz festival brings in big name musician

MARQUETTE — Over 20 different ensembles from all over the U.P. made the trip to Marquette for the 20th annual NMU Jazz Festival.

During the event students have opportunities to showcase their abilities in front of a large audience. One of the big take–aways for many of the students is learning more about soloing and improvising.

“They get some ideas about how to construct a solo in such a way that it’s that much more effective,” said NMU Jazz Festival Director Dr. Mark Flaherty, “and just hopefully to appreciate what a great, unique art form jazz is. It’s a really important thing that we preserve in this country I think.”

This year’s featured artist is Michael Davis, who has been playing trombone with The Rolling Stones since 1994. Davis hosted clinics with the students to pass along some musical tips, with a focus on Jazz.

“It’s incredible, he’s a wonderful musician. It’s just amazing seeing him work with the big band, the combo, and NMU groups. Seeing his clinic this morning, he really is a great player and a wonderful educator as well.”

The NMU Jazz Festival concludes Friday night with a concert featuring the NMU Jazz Band and the NMU Jazz Combo with Michael Davis at 7:30 pm.