March 02, 2012 12:00AM
It’s been nearly 40 years since the first PSU Jazz Festival, and each year an enthusiastic crop of young, new jazz musicians flock to the Pittsburg State University campus in honor of music with true American roots.
Bob Kehle, the long-time director of the festival and a member of the faculty in the Department of Music, said middle school, high school and community college bands are drawn by the festival because of its solid reputation for great jazz music and for an opportunity to hear world-class jazz at the evening concert.
“The Jazz Festival is a great opportunity for both for the general public and for students to hear some great jazz music,” Kehle said. “For students, it is a rare opportunity to perform for and get instruction from some of the best jazz musicians in the country.”
This year’s headline performer was the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra from New York. Also performing was PSU’s Jazz Ensemble I.
More than 60 school bands attended this year’s festival. The bands came from large schools in Kansas City and its suburbs, Springfield, Mo., and small and middle-sized schools in towns and cities in between.