HUNTINGTON - Marshall University will host the Huntington Summer Music Festival Friday and Saturday, June 2122, at Pullman Square, featuring music from world-renowned and local jazz musicians as well as a Biergarten, an instrument petting zoo for children and people of all ages, and other activities.
This year's festival is carrying on a new jazz music tradition that began in the summer of 2018 with the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition. The jazz piano competition will return to Huntington in two years, but in the meantime, Marshall's jazz studies program will keep celebrating music each June at Pullman Square.
Among the performers at this year's festival will be the winner of last year's Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition, Ben Paterson, of Philadelphia. Last year, Paterson competed in Huntington and was chosen as the top performer among seven finalists for the competition, chosen from 160 jazz pianists from around the world.
The Ben Paterson Trio will perform as the headline act for this year's festival. Other headliners will be the Jewel City Jazz Orchestra and the Reggie Watkins Quintet. Watkins is an internationally renowned trombonist who has performed or recorded with greats such as The Temptations, trumpet virtuoso Maynard Ferguson and pop star Jason Mraz.
The Huntington Summer Music Festival goes on in conjunction with the Jazz-MU-Tazz summer jazz camp at Marshall, which provides student jazz players opportunities to take master classes, get intensive jazz instruction and see performances by internationally recognized jazz performers. Marshall students, high-schoolers who participated in the Jazz-MU-Tazz camp, and students from schools throughout the region will perform as part of the festival as well.
"We are bringing in international, regional and local talent in a variety of musical configurations, from jazz trios to big bands," said Martin Saunders, director of jazz studies at Marshall. "The cross-section of top-notch performers and jazz styles will inspire performances that everyone can enjoy."
In case of rain, activities will be relocated from Pullman Square to Smith Recital Hall on the Marshall University campus. The festival is sponsored by the jazz studies program in the Marshall University School of Music.
For more information, visit www.marshall.edu/music/jazz/events/hijfmarsalis/.
The Huntington Summer Music Festival schedule is as follows:
Friday, June 21
5 p.m. - Biergarten opens
6 p.m. - Performance by the Jazz-MU-Tazz summer campers
7:30 p.m. - Performance by Reggie Watkins Quintet
Saturday, June 22
3 p.m. - Street Fair and Biergarten open
3:30 p.m. - Performance by MU Jazz Combo
5 p.m. - Performance by Jewel City Jazz Orchestra
6:30 p.m. - Performance by Pete Mills & Pete McCann Quintet
8 p.m. - Performance by the Ben Paterson Trio (2018 Winner of the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition)