Valparaiso University will host the 2019 Jazz Fest April 1–5 with an array of exciting performances by talented artists, including local performers as well as Stefon Harris and Blackout and The Marco Villarreal Quartet.

Featured Jazz Fest events:

  • Local high school bands — Monday, April 1, 6 p.m., Harre Union Ballroom. Admission is free and on a first-come, first-seated basis.
  • Local high school bands with a special performance by the Valparaiso University Jazz Ensemble and Vocal Ensemble — Tuesday, April 2, 6 p.m., Harre Union Ballroom. Admission is free and on a first-come, first-seated basis.
  • The Jazz Festival Big Band Bash featuring the Valparaiso University Faculty Jazz Trio, the Northwest Indiana Jazz Educators Big Band, Midwest Big Band and Calumet Ridge Jazz Ensemble— Wednesday, April 3, 6 p.m., Harre Union Ballroom. Tickets cost $10 for the general public; $8 for seniors and Valparaiso University retirees and alumni; and are free to Valpo students, faculty, and staff.
  • The Chicago Jazz Showcase with Valparaiso University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jeffrey C. Brown, and special guests Scott Burns, tenor saxophone, Pharez Whitted, trumpet, and Tom Garling, trombone — Thursday, April 4, 7:30 p.m., Harre Union Ballroom. Tickets cost $10 for the general public; $8 for seniors and Valparaiso University retirees and alumni; and are free to Valpo students, faculty and staff.
  • The Jazz Festival Concert with Stefon Harris and Blackout and opening act the Marco Villarreal Quartet — Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m., Harre Union Ballroom. Tickets cost $25 for the general public; $20 for seniors and Valpo retirees, alumni, faculty and staff; and $5 for Valpo students.

Stefon Harris is a talented musician, educator, developer, thought leader and composer. Sonic Creed, the latest album by Stefon Harris and Blackout, was named Jazz Album of the Year by WBGO, the world’s number one jazz radio station. Opening act the Marco Villarreal Quartet brings together local, accomplished musicians who have performed across Northwest Indiana and Chicago.

Scott Burns is a jazz saxophonist with a warm, expressive sound and has been a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene for the past two decades. He is also an in-demand player in the greater Cincinnati/Dayton area.

Pharez Whitted is a trumpet virtuoso and educator from Indianapolis. He has been playing the trumpet since he was 9 years old and is currently Chicago’s Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) jazz director.

Tom Garling is a Chicago-area trombone player spends much of his time teaching, writing, performing, recording and touring. Recent appearances have been with Frank Sinatra Jr., the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and the Chicago Yestet, as well as numerous clinician/guest soloist performances throughout the country.

The Calumet Ridge Jazz Ensemble is a growing group of jazz musicians that welcome post-high school professional and amateur musicians who are eager to play in a group that increases the exposure of jazz in the Region and Northwest Indiana.

The 18-piece Midwest Big Band is a group of close friends, musicians and vocalists from Northwest Indiana and the South Chicago suburbs who share the same passion for big band jazz.

Tickets are available on the Harre Union website now and will be available in person at the Harre Union Welcome Desk beginning March 11.