32nd Annual Sunbelt Jazz Festival

The Sunbelt Jazz Festival will be returning to the Townsend Center on Friday, Apr 28. This event is sponsored by the University under Dr. Daniel Bakos, Professor of Music, and Director of Jazz Studies and Music Theory. The event consists of a concert featuring the guest artist accompanied by the UWG Jazz Ensemble. This year’s event will be featuring Bill Prince, a well-known Professional Musician for more than 50 years.  

Bill Prince has performed with many different bands and orchestras including Buddy Rich, Pee Wee Hunt, Palm Beach and Jacksonville Symphonies. Prince has appeared on Television shows across the world and has performed on over 50 albums. One of the biggest accomplishments has been his recent cabaret show he performs on cruise ships.  Prince has been known to be a unique jazz artist because he is able to play multiple instruments. He is known for playing his trumpet, Prince also can play the flute, clarinet, piano, electric bass and trombone. 

Each year the festival allows entries for multiple bands to apply for their chance to play music with the professionals like Prince.  “It’s a wonderful experience and you can get a unique perspective on playing your own music” said Bakos. “You’ll get both advice and constructive criticism.” UWG always encourages bands to apply for the festival to have the opportunity to show off their talent and music. These bands also get the chance to rehearse with the professionals before the festival, and UWG makes sure the atmosphere is a learning environment and not competitive among the bands. It’s a major opportunity for the participating bands to take the time to learn from the professionals and create their music based off the new knowledge that they learn during this experience. 

Since the Jazz Festival began in 1986, it has been filled with uniquely talented jazz musicians. The previous years have included, Chris Vadala, Ignacio Berroa, Jerry Coker, Gary Foster, Lew Solof and many others. A fan Favorite from last year was Chris Vadala. “Saxophone player Chris Vadala has always been a pleasure to work with,” said Bakos.  

 “The variety of the guest artists always keeps the festival fresh and exciting each year,” said Bakos. It is important that UWG provides a variety of performers each year for viewers to hear all different forms of Jazz Music. “Come in and enjoy it,” said Barkos. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. and prices range from $5 to $12. To purchase tickets online, visit the Townsend Center website.

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