Cool jazz keeps cookin’

Renowned drummer Carl Allen, a Music program alumnus, headlined UW-Green Bay Jazz Fest XLV on campus last February. Former musical director for trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, Allen has played with Branford Marsalis and the late Sammy Davis Jr. and directed jazz studies at Julliard. The annual Jazz Fest concert and youth clinic dates to 1971 and is one of UW-Green Bay’s most popular and long-running traditions.  (The festival has had only two directors over the years: founder Lovell Ives and his former student John Salerno, director of jazz studies at UWGB.) The event draws middle- and high-school students from across the region for a day of ensemble performances and clinic sessions. One or more high school jazz ensembles are selected during the day to perform at a special closing concert which also features the UW-Green Bay Jazz Ensemble and a special guest artist. Over the years those guests have included saxophonist Tommy Newsom and drummer Ed Shaughnessy of the “Tonight Show,” trumpeters Bill Prince, Clark Terry and Bobby Shew, the Stan Kenton Orchestra, vocalist Todd Buffa and many other luminaries. The first concert, on Jan. 23, 1971, featured guest artists Urbie Green, trombone, and Joe Morello, drums. In his review the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Warren Gerds wrote, “The First Annual UW-GB Jazz Festival was great… There’s a wonderful future ahead for jazz in Green Bay. Hooray! And thank you, UW-GB.”