April 01, 2012
The 2012 Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival drew a crowd of about 1,000 people for live music performances on March 29-31. The annual festival concluded with a Saturday night double-bill as the award-winning Knox Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Knox jazz program director Nikki Malley, opened for the headliner concert by the Noah Preminger Group.
Preminger's most recent album, Before the Rain, was selected as one of the top 10 jazz albums of 2011 by NPR (formerly National Public Radio), Slate/Stereophile, All About Jazz and Jazz in Space.
The three-day jazz festival, a tradition for more than 30 years, also featured performances by the Knox Faculty and Friends Combo on Thursday night and the Knox Alumni Jazz Band and Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls on Friday night.Thursday, March 29: The Knox Faculty and Friends Combo: Kevin Malley and Larry Harms, saxophone; Dave Hoffman, trumpet and piano; Daniel Leahy, piano; Semenya McCord, vocals; John Miller, guitar; Nikki Whittaker and Kevin Hart, vibraphone; Andy Crawford and Steve Jackson, bass; Brian Zeglis and Jake Dillon, drums. More photos in an on-line gallery.
Friday, March 30: The Knox Alumni Big Band represented more than 20 years of Knox alumni, returning to Galesburg for a celebration of the jazz community. More photos from Friday night in an on-line gallery.
Above right, Nikki Whittaker, director of the jazz program at Knox and musical director of the Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival, introduces Alumni Band director Justin Haynes. The Alumni Band was followed by Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls (below right).
Saturday, March 31: The Knox College Jazz Ensemble opened for the Noah Preminger Group (bottom right) and performed a selection with Preminger Saturday night in the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg. More photos in an on-line gallery.