On Friday, Feb. 21, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will celebrate 42 years of bringing together students from around the region to learn from and perform with contemporary music legends at the annual UNO Great Plains Jazz Festival.
Student bands from 54 high schools and middle schools across four states will join nine professional musicians, including Grammy Award-winning vocalist and pianist Diane Schuur, for a weekend of hands-on lessons and once-in-a-lifetime performances.
“Not only will students learn from the best in the business, across a wide variety of instruments and styles, but they will get to see UNO musicians perform with them live as well,” explains Pete Madsen, director of bands at UNO. “That is a priceless experience at any age.”
Each of the festival’s two days will culminate in special concert performances:
Friday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m.
Strauss Performing Arts Center (UNO Campus)
Cost: $10 for general public, $5 for students, Free with MavCard
Trombonist Scott Whitfield and saxophonist Roger Neumann will perform, as will the UNO Jazz Ensemble, joined by trombonist Marcus Lewis and saxophonist Adam Larson.
Saturday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m.
Holland Performing Arts Center
Cost: $10 for the general public
The UNO Jazz Ensemble will perform with Grammy Award-winning artist Diane Schuur, Best Jazz Vocal Performance by a Female in 1986 and 1987. Also performing will be the Metropolitan Area Youth Jazz Orchestra (MAYJO) with Whitfield and Neumann, joined by saxophonist Glenn Kostur.
Tickets for both shows can be purchased at the door or by contacting Jennifer Walcutt at 402.554.3427.
In addition to the concerts, each of the schools will break into groups for one-on-one sessions with this year’s visiting musicians. On Saturday, each of the groups will join Schurr for a special clinic prior to that night’s concert.
“There really is no substitute for learning through doing as a musician and these students are going to get the opportunity to learn through the experiences of a variety of veteran musicians,” Madsen says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity.”
For additional information about the Great Plains Jazz Festival, contact Pete Madsen at 402.554.2297 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.For media requests, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at email@example.com.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.