The Temple College Jazz Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary by hosting its three-day signature event that brings together jazz lovers from across Texas to campus March 31-April 2. The event is open to the public.
Nearly a thousand students representing more than 45 high school and middle school jazz bands from throughout the state are scheduled to play 30-minute sets during the festival. The festival also will feature noon-hour clinics and nighttime performances by renowned guest musicians Greg Gisbert (trumpet) and Wycliffe Gordon (trombone).
“The Temple College Jazz Festival has helped bring attention to the city of Temple and this region as a place where jazz education thrives,” said Dr. Benjamin Irom, professor of music and director of jazz studies. “In addition to attracting student groups from all over, we feature performances by middle school and high school jazz groups in the local Central Texas area, several of which are from right here in Temple and Belton.”
This is the first time since 2019 that Temple College has been able to host the popular event, which was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.
“Perhaps the most exciting thing about this year’s festival is we are finally back to being able to host the festival at all,” Irom said. “I can sense the excitement from all the band directors who are anxious to bring their students to our festival and perform live in front of an audience.”
Gisbert will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday with the Temple College Jazz Ensemble and TC Faculty Jazz. He will host a clinic at noon on Friday. Gordon will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with the Temple Jazz Orchestra on Saturday night. He will host a clinic at noon on Saturday.
“I am thrilled to have Greg Gisbert join us. He is a wonderful trumpeter and educator out of the Denver area,” Irom said. “I am particularly excited about having Wycliffe Gordon appear with the Temple Jazz Orchestra. I had been hoping to have him as a guest artist for close to 10 years, was finally able to secure him as a guest artist in 2020, and then the pandemic hit. We are so gracious that he has agreed to honor his commitment this year. He is an incredible performer and inspirational figure in the jazz world, and the audience is going to go nuts when they hear him.”
School performances will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A list of schools and their performance times is listed on the Temple Jazz Festival website.
All stage performances will be held at Temple College’s Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center, 2600 S. First St. Student performances will be streamed live on YouTube. Tickets are $5 for students and $20 for adults. Advance tickets may be purchased at the Temple College Fine Arts Office. Tickets will also be available at the door. Call (254) 298-8555 for more information.