Festival coordinators made final plans and sold tickets and t-shirts to the room full of students, promoting the five-day series of lectures and concerts that gets fully underway today. The four students responsible for bringing jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis to campus tomorrow said last night that University interest in their organization and in jazz in general has grown tremendously in the last year. Festival chairperson Alan Stern, a College senior, said that in the first such program last year -- a Sonny Rollins concert -- a staff of six people did all the work. But this year, over 30 student volunteers are helping with the event. Travis Jackson, a festival vice-chairperson, said support from the now-defunct Penn Union Council and from the Social Planning and Events Committee helped give the festival the prestige and money it needed to attract well-known performers. "If you want to bring an artist of any caliber, you have to be willing and able to pay for it and to convince them that you're not just some fly-by-night operation," said Jackson, a College senior. Jackson added that he felt that he, Stern, and College seniors Sherry Riesner and Stephen Lapointe filled a gap in campus life when they began the jazz festival. "When I got to Penn, I really wanted something like this to be here," he said. "We found out the only way to get something done was to do it ourselves." Students said they were excited about the idea of a weekend devoted to jazz. "I think it's great," said Penn Jazz Ensemble President Lloyd Mandell, a Wharton and Engineering senior. "]Jazz[ is another culture Penn students should be exposed to." Last night's Handel's Mug event included performances by the a cappella group Penny Loafers and by pianist Adam Glazer, a College junior. It was also the opening of an exhibit of photographs by bass player Milt Hinton, who photographed his friends and colleagues in the jazz industry, including such greats as Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie. The photographs will remain on exhibit in Houston Hall Bowl Room through the weekend. Some of the upcoming festival events include: ·Performances by local high school jazz ensembles, noon today and 11 a.m. tomorrow, in Bodek Lounge. ·A lecture by conductor Gunther Schuller, "Is Jazz America's Classical Music?", 3 p.m. today in Bodek Lounge. ·A panel discussion and debate on "The Impact of Commercialism on the Jazz Composer and Performer," tonight at 8 p.m. in Bodek Lounge. ·A lecture on jazz criticism, noon tomorrow in the Ben Franklin Room of Houston Hall. ·A speech by saxophonist Branford Marsalis, at 4 p.m. tomorrow in Bodek Lounge. ·A concert featuring the Branford Marsalis Quartet, 8 p.m. tomorrow at Irvine Auditorium. ·A jam session with University musicians, at 1 p.m. Saturday in Bodek Lounge. ·A jamboree featuring Counterparts, the Penn Jazz Ensemble and Penn Dixie, at 9 p.m. Saturday in Bodek Lounge. ·Philly Phinale concert spotlighting Philadelphia jazz bands at 8 p.m. Sunday in Bodek Lounge.Comments powered by Disqus
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