Shepherd Jazz Festival

Throughout the day on Saturday, February 17, on the Frank Center Theater stage come see the best and brightest young jazz musicians in the Shepherd University Jazz Festival as middle and high schools from throughout the region perform, starting at 9:00 am in Shepherd University’s Frank Arts Center. From 9:00 to 11:00 AM are Charles Town Middle School, Harper’s Ferry Middle School, Shepherdstown Middle School, and Jefferson High School. In the afternoon from 1:00 to 3:30 PM are performances by Musselman High School, Washington High School, Wildwood Middle School and Spring Mills High School. The festival will conclude with a performance at 5:00 pm of the Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Kurtis Adams. The performances are all free and open to the public.

Each participating band performs on stage and then attends a clinic with one of our outstanding clinicians. This year’s clinicians will bring a wealth of musicianship and experience to share with the students, and include Shepherd University faculty Dr. Kurtis Adams, Dr. Mark Cook, and Kevin Pace, as well as trumpeter/composer Kevin Woods. Quickly emerging as one of the most melodic and emotive voices in improvised music in the Northwest, Woods’s passion for both performance and education have made him in demand as a leader and a sideman as well as a composer, arranger, and clinician. He lives in Bellingham, Washington where he is active as a performer, educator, and composer/arranger, and serves as Director of Jazz Studies at Western Washington University. He leads the Kevin Woods Quartet and the Malmo, Sweden based Woods/Axelsson Quartet.

The Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble has performed throughout the East Coast and Europe and is in great demand as a feature band in Jazz Festivals around the globe. Invited to the world-renowned Montreux Jazz festival in 2003, The Jazz Ensemble played throughout Switzerland and Italy on a 9-day concert tour. In 1999, the band took their Ellington Tour to England and France. In the United States, they have been featured at the Longwood, the Blue Ridge, and The East Coast Jazz Festivals, as well as regional festivals throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

For more information about the Shepherd University, Jazz Festival performances or other department events call 304-876-5555 or visit