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WSU Jazz Invitational


  • Wichita State University 1845 Fairmount Street Wichita, KS, 67260 United States (map)

Evening concert at Miller Concert Hall (Located in the Duerksen Fine Arts Center lobby, near the south entrance.)

WSU’s Jazz Invitational will make for an exciting start to the Festival, and will feature guest artist Dennis Mackrel, a world-renowned drummer and alumnus of both the Count Basie Orchestra and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Featuring nearly twenty high school and college bands spread across two venues on WSU’s campus, the Invitational will be capped-off with performances by the Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble and WSU’s Jazz Arts Ensemble 1, both featuring Mackrel on drums.

5:30p - Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble

The Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble is an auditioned group made up of the top high school jazz musicians in south-central Kansas. MKJE provides students with a chance to meet and play with other talented and passionate young jazz musicians. MKJE rehearses weekly on Monday nights, from 7:00–9:00 p.m at Wichita State University. The group typically performs one or two concerts per semester. In past years, MKJE has also performed at the Wichita Jazz Festival and Wichita Riverfest. MKJE students will get a chance to spend time rehearsing and performing with a special guest artist.. Past guest artists have included jazz luminaries Mike Steinel, Brad Leali, Pat Bianchi, Wycliffe Gordon and this year the group will collaborate with drummer Dennis Mackrel. Auditions take place in September each year.

6:00p - Jazz Arts Ensemble 1

“The Jazz Arts Ensemble is a traditional 19-piece big band jazz ensemble selected each year through an audition process. WSU's Jazz Arts Ensemble is part of the Jazz Studies curriculum, and the ensemble puts on two on-campus concerts each semester. The Jazz Arts Ensemble may also perform at public and private functions throughout the Wichita Community, and for WSU special events. Jazz Arts has consistently been selected to perform at state, regional and national conferences, and festivals and has performed with notable guest artists. The repertoire of the ensemble consists of high-level arrangements of varying styles, including swing, Latin, rock, and pop charts, as well as new compositions. The Jazz Arts Ensemble welcome the opportunity to work with arrangers and composers on new projects.”