Jazz It Up!

47th annual Jazz Fest features outstanding soloists, ensembles

Allison Puestow

Wycliffe Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon

It’s that time of year: Get ready for the 47th Annual Eau Claire Jazz Festival! This year it will be held April 4-5. With clinics, master classes, and bands galore, you don’t want to miss this. Check out some of this year’s highlights below. For the full schedule of events, check out www.eauclairejazz.com.

52nd StreetFriday, April 4, 5pm-2am • South Barstow Street, various venues • South Barstow Street will once again be transformed into New York’s historic 52nd Street. Come feel the beat all night long, from 5pm Friday, April 4, until 2 am the next morning. Venues large and small will pop up down the street, showcasing a wide range of jazz styles, including ragtime, blues, and acoustic. Some of this year’s bands include the Courageous Endeavors, Hounds Before Lions, Malonious Thunk, and the Jayson Collins Trio.

Jump Jive, and Read!Saturday, April 5, 10-11:30am • Davies Center, UW-Eau Claire • free • Looking for something to do with the little ones? Then head on over to UW-Eau Claire’s Davies Center Saturday morning for the Jump, Jive, and Read event. This is a free event for families with preschool to first-grade aged kids. They’ll be movin’ and groovin’ as they learn how to use their bodies as instruments. There will be an interactive story and a jazz band to get you in the swing of things!

Headliner Concerts Featuring Byron Stripling and Wycliffe GordonFriday, April 4, 7pm, and Saturday, April 5, 6:30pm • Memorial High School, 2225 Keith St. • $15 general admission, $10 for students with ID • 715-836-4092 • www.eauclairejazz.com Jazz Fest organizers are pleased to welcome trumpeter Byron Stripling and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon as this year’s guest artists. Stripling is the current artistic director of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and leads his own quartet. He has been a featured soloist with orchestras like the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, the National Symphony, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Stripling also conducts occasional clinics and seminars at colleges and high schools. Wycliffe Gordon has won wide acclaim for his trombone skills, including being named Trombonist of the Year eight times by the Jazz Journalists Association. Gordon is a current faculty member of the Jazz Arts Program at the Manhattan School of Music. Like Stripling, Gordon presents at master classes, clinics, workshops, and children’s concerts, and lectures to students of all ages. In addition to the headliners, other performers – including UWEC’s Jazz I Ensemble – will take the stage both nights.