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John Fedchock, a world-class trombonist, bandleader and Grammy-nominated arranger, performed with the Northwest Jazz Ensemble as a featured guest artist as last year's Northwest Jazz Ensemble. The Chris Burnett Quintet will perform at this year's festival. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

John Fedchock, a world-class trombonist, bandleader and Grammy-nominated arranger, performed with the Northwest Jazz Ensemble as a featured guest artist as last year's Northwest Jazz Ensemble. The Chris Burnett Quintet will perform at this year's festival. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Feb. 15, 2019

Jazz festival to feature 32 school groups, guest artist

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Northwest Missouri State University will host jazz performers from 32 middle schools and high schools during its annual Northwest Jazz Festival Friday, Feb. 22, in addition to performances by the Northwest Jazz Ensemble and the Chris Burnett Quintet.

The Northwest Jazz Ensemble performs at noon in the Charles Johnson Theater at the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building. The awards concert at 5 p.m. in the Charles Johnson Theater will feature the Chris Burnett Quintet.

Burnett is a critically acclaimed alto saxophonist, composer, educator and business leader in the arts industry. Born in Olathe, Kansas, he began his professional career with military jazz bands immediately after graduating high school and spent 22 years performing and touring the world with notable military bands. Since then he has recorded noteworthy albums as a leader, taught college-level courses and co-founded an independent recording label. He is an in-demand woodwind instructor and jazz clinician, serving as festival adjudicator and conductor for honors ensembles.

He is the founder and artistic director of KC Area Youth Jazz, and he serves as woodwind artist-in-residence and jazz clinician for Leavenworth (Kansas) Unified School District 453. He also is a skilled writer and journalist, having received Kansas Press Association awards in 2016 and 2017 for articles he wrote for the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper. He continues his work as a jazz journalist as a writer and editor of Jazz Artistry Now magazine.

The festival’s school performances begin at 8:45 a.m. in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts, Charles Johnson Theater and the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom. Large jazz ensembles and jazz combos from schools in Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska will perform in 25-minute time slots. Each jazz ensemble performs for three adjudicators who provide comments and assign ratings in addition to working with each group on stage after their performance.

All of the festival performances are free and open to the public.

The Northwest Jazz Festival is funded through an Academic Initiative Award provided by Dr. Michael Steiner, dean of Northwest’s College of Arts and Sciences. Northwest’s Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia chapter also provides operational support during the festival.

For more information, contact Dr. William Richardson, a professor of music and the assistant chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, at billr@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1316.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468