METAMORA — Groundhog Day will see the Kenneth H. Maurer Performing Arts Center fill with the sounds of rhythm and jazz when the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble visits with guest artist Lew Tabackin for Metamora Township High School’s Jazzfest 2013.
On Feb. 2, the Germantown Hills Middle School jazz band and Metamora Township High School jazz ensemble will serve as openers for NIU and Tabackin, with the Germantown group taking the stage at 7 p.m., followed by Metamora’s at 7:15 p.m. NIU’s show will begin at about 7:30 p.m., and Tabackin, a world renowned tenor saxophonist and jazz flautist, will join the band after a brief intermission.
“It’s a big party on stage, and a big night for jazz music,” Metamora High School jazz ensemble director Christopher Render said.
The concert will cap off a full day of jazz music for the high school and middle school students, who will have the opportunity to learn from Tabackin, NIU jazz ensemble director Ron Carter and the ensemble itself during sessions and rehearsals.
Render said the experience of getting to learn from a professional musician — and “soon-to-be professionals” in the NIU band members — would be a “breathtaking” one for the aspiring artists.
“In this business, we’re always looking for the best educational model we can bring our students,” he said. “And to learn jazz; it’s a generational thing being passed from older to younger, and nothing is better than hands on training.”
Metamora director of bands Wally Parks said the event is in its ninth or tenth year now, and over the years has been drawing an increasing number of audience members.
“To make the best experience for our students is the primary thing,” he said. “But also to provide a great concert for our community and to fill the house.
“It would be wonderful to see a packed house,” Parks added.
Tickets are on sale through the Metamora Township High School for $10, or can be purchased for $15 at the door the night of the concert.
Jazzfest 2013 at Metamora Township High School
What: The Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble is performing along with guest artist tenor saxophonist/flautist Lew Tabackin for Metamora Township High School’s annual Jazzfest. The concert will be preceded by shows from the Metamora Township High School Jazz Ensemble and the Germantown Hills Middle School jazz band.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Kenneth H. Maurer Performing Arts Center at Metamora Township High School, 101 W. Madison St., Metamora.
Tickets: $10 in advance by calling (309) 367-4151, ext. 574, or can be bought at the door for $15.