Local student bands will experience a boon in the coming days, when Gilbert and Mesa host concerts to encourage and share with the community the talent of young Valley musicians.
Highland Jazz Festival in Gilbert
Two well-known professional jazz musicians will perform later this week at Highland High School.
Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Bob Mintzer and former Wynton Marsalis Septet trombonist Wycliffe Gordon will headline concerts at the school’s first Jazz Festival, a two-day jazz-education fair for school- and college-age musicians around the Valley.
The concerts by Mintzer and Gordon are open to the public.
Mintzer will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, along with Arizona State University’s Concert Jazz Band and an ensemble made up of ASU faculty and guest musicians who will be on site to instruct and critique youngsters in the festival’s workshops.
Gordon will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, after an opening performance by the high school band that receives the festival’s Outstanding Jazz Band award from judges.
Among the bands that are signed up for the festival are ensembles from Greenfield, Rhodes and Shepherd junior high schools, and Desert Ridge, Dobson, Gilbert and Mesquite high schools. Schools from across the Valley and state are also participating.
Money raised from ticket sales will go toward putting on the festival next year and continuing jazz education efforts.
The concerts will take place in the auditorium at Highland High School, 4301 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert. Tickets cost $25 for each concert or $40 for both concerts. Call (480) 813-0051, ext. 4421, to reserve tickets and pick them up at will call the day of the event.
Mesa high school bands in concert
The award-winning student bands of six Mesa high schools will join forces for a fundraising concert on Wednesday.
Concert bands from Mesa, Mountain View and Red Mountain high schools will perform at 7 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center’s premier Ikeda Theater.
Jazz bands from Skyline and Westwood high schools will give a preconcert performance 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. outdoors on the center’s Shadow Walk, and small ensembles from Dobson High School will perform in the theater lobby before the show.
Tickets to the show are $8 for anyone older than 12, and all proceeds will go to the Mesa Arts Center Foundation, which funds performing and visual arts classes for local youth and free concerts and arts events for the general public.
Each of the high school ensembles consistently receives high marks at state music festivals, and band students from Mesa Public Schools typically earn approximately 20 to 25 percent of positions in the annual All-State Music Festival of Honor.
At the concert, the Red Mountain High School Symphonors Band, Mesa High School Wind Ensemble and Mountain View High School Wind Ensemble will perform numbers that have earned them statewide recognition and awards.
For tickets or information, call (480) 644-6500 or visit www.MesaArtsCenter.com.