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The 38th Annual OSU Jazz Festival

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by Brooke Hollis on March 30, 2015

The Ohio State University School of Music is hosting its 38th Annual Jazz Festival Thursday, April 9th, through Sunday, April 12th. All performances are free, with the exception of the Sunday night Manner Effect show.

The festival will kick off Thursday at 8pm with a tribute to the local ladies. Divas Night will be highlighting three of Columbus’ most gifted jazz vocalists: Mary McClendon, Louise Salvador, and Jeanette Williams. McClendon is a Columbus native who has been scat singing in the city since the 1970’s, while fellow area native Williams gained popularity with her gospel-rich voice in the Seeds of Fulfillment. Salvador made her way from being a musical director at a theater in Houston to a standing weekly performance in the Short North at nearly 70 years old.

Friday night, also at 8pm, the Ohio State Jazz Ensemble, directed by Ted McDaniel, will be accompanied by trumpeter Kris Johnson. McDaniel is the director of Jazz Studies in the School of Music and also a professor in the department of African American and African Studies. His musical arrangements have been recorded on various albums and even appeared on “Sesame Street”. Johnson is a prominent trumpeter who has appeared on two Grammy-nominated albums, including one of Tony Bennett’s Christmas albums.

College Jazz Band Day takes place on Saturday from 10am to 4pm, featuring performances from ensembles from Ohio State and other Ohio colleges.

On Saturday night at 8pm there will be a tribute for cherished local musician, Mark Flugge, who passed away last May. Columbus-born, Flugge was a pillar of the city’s jazz scene for most of his life. After teaching at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he had earned his master’s in Jazz Piano Performance, he returned to Columbus. He stayed busy with regular performances with local symphonies, orchestras, and jazz ensembles in addition to his solo work and teaching at Capital University and Ohio State (where he earned his Bachelors in Jazz Composition). Students of Flugge’s who will be honoring him include Lucas Holmes, Jeff Benatar, and Robert Mason.

On Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, High School Jazz Band Day will welcome jazz groups from 9-12th grades; register by April 1st for a 15 minute slot to perform for an appraisal from the panel and a follow-up private clinic.

Headlining vocal-fusion quintet Manner Effect will take the stage Sunday at 7pm. Members include Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Logan Evan Thomas, Patrick James, Josh Davis, and Caleb Curtis. The group is known to proclaim “We don’t have a leader, we have five leaders.” A strong theme for Manner Effect is the concerted effort of very different musicians to give forth a new and composite sound. With one full length album (Abundance) that packs an accompanying DVD, this genre-bending ensemble is showing their versatility. They even include their own interpretation of Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” along with the jazz-rooted, pop-laced original work they’ve recorded.

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