Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Duneland celebrates Jazz at CHS All That Jazz Opus 41 Saturday

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This year marks the 41st year that jazz education has been included in the Duneland Schools curriculum. The Chesterton High School Music Department will be celebrating this anniversary by bringing in four professional musicians to work with and perform with the high school jazz students on the annual spring jazz concert entitled, All That Jazz Opus 41.

The Jim Widner Quartet will headline the concert this year. The group features Jim Widner, bassist; Ken Kehner, pianist; Stockton Helbing, drummer and Jack Wengrosky, trumpeter. All of the members of the group are accomplished and nationally respected jazz musicians in their own right, and their combined talents in the Widner Quartet are sure to light up the CHS stage for area jazz enthusiasts.

All That Jazz 41 will take place in the Chesterton High School Auditorium on Saturday evening, May 17, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $8.00 each, and all seating is general admission. The Chesterton High School Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of Michael Scheiber. For additional information about this event, please contact the CHS Music Office at 983-3730.

Jim Widner, former bassist with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and the Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Buddy DeFranco, is a Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri St. Louis.A graduate of the University of Missouri, Jim also holds a MA degree from Memphis State University and has done postgraduate work at the University of North Texas. Jim has performed at the world famous Lionel Hampton and Montreaux (Switzerland) Jazz Festivals. His performance background includes concert dates with Clark Terry, Marilyn Maye, Lou Marini, Mulgrew Miller, Bucky Pizzarelli, Wycliff Gordon, Louie Bellson, Randy Brecker, Bill Watrous, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and an appearance before former President Bill Clinton. In 2008 he was a cover story feature in the March issue of JazzEd magazine and in 2009 he was a recipient of Downbeat magazine’s Achievement Award for his work in Jazz Education. In 2013 he was the recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award from the College of Fine Arts and Communication, University of Missouri - St. Louis, and was once again featured in subsequent articles in Downbeat magazine “Student Becomes Teacher” and in JazzEd magazine “The Art of The Big Band Jazz Camp". As a jazz artist and clinician, Widner has graced the Chesterton High School stage many times over the last 16 years, beginning in 1999 when he was part of the Louis Bellson sextet, the professional ensemble that performed for “All That Jazz 25.”

Trumpeter Jack Wengrosky is slated to perform on this year’s All That Jazz concert. Wengrosky is the former lead trumpet and soloist with the U.S. Army’s premier big band, known as The Jazz Ambassadors. A Master Sergeant, (ret.) Jack Wengrosky has toured 49 states and 15 countries over a 21 year career, playing well over 2,000 concerts and performing at hundreds of high school and college clinics. While with the band, he has made appearances with seven major symphonies including Baltimore, Cincinnati, and the Boston Pops and performed for the last six Presidents of the United States, the Queen of England, and made numerous TV and radio appearances. In 2009 he performed with Jon Faddis and Herbie Hancock at the Kennedy Center Honors, and in two concerts at Carnegie Hall. Jack received his MM at the University of North Texas where he was lead trumpet in the Grammy nominated One O’clock Lab band. He has 25 CDs to his credit as well as having performed with Diane Schurr, Doc Severinsen, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Williams and many more.

Drummer Stockton Helbing is one of the most diverse drummers in the world. He is not only a drummer, but a composer, arranger, producer, band leader, educator, music director, author, and entrepreneur. Since 2004, Stockton has fronted his own band, the Stockton Helbing Quintet, with whom he has toured and performed around the United States. He is the former music director for icon trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. Helbing is also an alumni of the well-known University of North Texas “One O’Clock Lab Band", and is currently touring as the drummer for “Doc” Severinsen Big Band, known from Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.

Jazz pianist Ken Kehner holds a degree in Piano Performance from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, where he served as staff accompanist, and later joined the faculty as an adjunct jazz instructor. This is his eighth year teaching jazz piano and improvisation at University of Missouri - St. Louis, where he also conducts several jazz combos and assists with the jazz ensemble. Kehner has backed such noted artists as Bill Watrous, Bobby Shew, Buddy DeFranco, Pete Christlieb, Eric Marienthal, Louie Bellson, and Clark Terry. In addition to being an accomplished classical pianist who has been the featured soloist with several Midwestern orchestras, Kehner is on the staff of the Jim Widner Summer Jazz Camp series and appears regularly with the Jim Widner Big Band.

 

Posted 5/15/2014