Each February, the University of Idaho brings musicians and music lovers from all over the United States for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.
Executive Director Steven Remington came up with this year’s theme, “Inspiring Futures through Jazz.”
“It was an obvious choice to me,” Remington said. “Jazz Fest is the single regional opportunity for youngsters to come out and see the University of Idaho and see what it has to offer to them.”
The Director of Development and Marketing for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, James Brownson, said, the theme showcases what the festival is all about — showing kids what their future can be.
“These students who are going to be participating in Jazz Fest will come to the University of Idaho, but most of them won’t become musicians or even go into music,” Remington said. “They will be going into science, art and architecture, or another program that the University of Idaho has to offer to them. It’s about learning from the workshops, enjoying performing and to see what the University of Idaho has to offer to their future.”
Remington said Jazz Fest is a great way for the alumni to come back and visit UI, as well.
“They can come back and see how Jazz Fest is impacting the students,” he said. “People in the community who don’t even listen to jazz are proud of the Jazz Festival because they know how big of a deal it is to the community.”
Next year’s concert will include TAKE 6, the Jeff Hamilton Trio, Regina Carter, Sara Caswell, Aaron Weinstein and Maceo Parker. The Lionel Hampton Youth Jazz Orchestra will also perform.
Throughout Jazz Fest, workshops will educate young musicians.
“The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival isn’t just about the main stage performances, which are just the tip of the iceberg,” Brownson said.
Remington said when choosing artists for the festival, they make sure to not only choose artists that are strong performers but also good educators — a mentor who has deep ties to the background of jazz music.
“It is an educational jazz festival,” Remington said. “People of all ages come for the education provided at the jazz festival.”
Brownson said artists and other volunteers visit regional K-12 schools for community outreach.
“They perform and educate kids about jazz,” he said. “And it’s free for the schools and the students.”
Tickets for Jazz Fest go on sale Dec. 3. Special donor pre-sale ticket sales begin Oct. 26, and participating schools can get tickets on Nov. 16. Tickets can be purchased at the UI ticket office or online at www.uidaho.edu/ticketoffice.
Emily Aziawa can be reached at email@example.com