54th Annual Winter Jazz Festival Features Joan C. Edwards Professor

Abigail Cutlip, Student Reporter

Jazz fans will be able to listen to multiple music ensembles at the 54th Annual Winter Jazz Festival on Feb. 16-18 inside the Smith Recital Hall.

Dr. Joseph Jefferson, a Joan C. Edwards distinguished professor in the arts and recipient of the 2022 Ellis Marsalis Jr. Jazz Educator of the Year award, is to be featured prominently.

“We’re honored and thrilled to have such a wonderful artist/educator for the 54th MU Winter Jazz Festival,” Jeff Wolfe, Marshall’s director of jazz studies, said. “Audiences won’t want to miss hearing Joseph’s performances during the festival.”

Jefferson is a graduate of West Virginia University, and he is currently serving as an associate professor of trombone and euphonium along with being the director of jazz studies at Southeast Missouri State University.

The festival will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 16, with performances by the MU Jazz Combo I and the WVU Jazz Ensemble I. At 6 p.m. on Feb. 17, the Jewel City Jazz Orchestra will perform, and the Joseph Jefferson Quartet will follow. Finally, at 6 p.m. on Feb. 18, the festival will conclude with the Thundering Herd All-Star Jazz Ensemble and then the Marshall University Jazz Ensemble I, which will feature Jefferson.

Additionally, middle school and high school jazz ensembles will perform on Feb. 17 and 18, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and will occur throughout the days.

Wolfe says that Jefferson’s work could be of benefit to Marshall, middle school and high school students alike.

“All of our current Marshall University music students and area high school and middle school students will greatly benefit from Dr. Jefferson’s work as a clinician, educator and role model throughout the duration of the festival,” Wolfe said.