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Matt Wilson

Rootabaga Jazz Festival


Andrew Crawford

Music Administrator and Managing Director of Jazz Year

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


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Envelopes filled with lyrics for the choir.

May 9-13, 2023 The Rootabaga Jazz Festival features the Bill Frisell Trio, the John Tate Trio and Pharez Whitted along with the Knox Alumni Big Band, the Faculty and Friends Combo, the Knox Jazz Ensemble, and the Galesburg High School and Churchill Junior High Jazz Bands.  

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Pictures from the first 40+ years of Rootabagas

May 9, 2023

Pharez Whitted and the John Tate Trio School Tour group
United High School
Free and open to the public

Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln center clinician Pharez Whitted and the John Tate Trio will perform a concert as part of the Rootabaga Jazz School Tour. On Tuesday, May 3rd and Wednesday, May 4th, the group will tour seven area schools performing for elementary, junior high, and high school students.

May 11, 2023

Faculty and Friends Combo
Galesburg Community Arts Center 
Admission: $5, Knox Students free with ID

The Faculty and Friends performance features Knox's accomplished jazz faculty and local jazz musicians from the vibrant live music community of central Illinois.

May 12, 2023

Galesburg High School Big Band
6:00 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.

Knox Alumni Big Band 
7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

John Tate Trio
8:30 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Galesburg Community Arts Center
Admission: $10/Knox Students free with ID

May 13, 2023

Rootabaga Kids: John Tate Trio
Galesburg Public Library
Free and open to the public

This free family friendly event promises to be a very engaging and entertaining experience for the whole family.

May 13, 2023

The Bill Frisell Trio
and the Knox Jazz Ensemble
Orpheum Theatre, 57 S. Kellogg St., Galesburg
7:00 p.m.
Free floor & balcony seats • $20 reserved mezzanine

Arguable the greatest living jazz guitarist, Bill Frisell’s career as a guitarist and composer has spanned more than 40 years and many celebrated recordings, whose catalog has been cited by Downbeat as "the best recorded output of the decade."

"Frisell has had a lot of practice putting high concept into a humble package. Long hailed as one of the most distinctive and original improvising guitarists of our time, he has also earned a reputation for teasing out thematic connections with his music... There’s a reason that Jazz at Lincoln Center had him program a series called Roots of Americana." - New York Times

Reviews of Bill Frisell Trio's most recent album "Valentine"

Valentine showcases the limitless creativity, the artful spontaneity, and the intuition and trust with which Frisell, Morgan, and Royston perform their tunes. The album delivers a love letter to the tunes, to the listeners, and to the trio itself.”

—No Depression

 “On Valentine, they consistently and strikingly play as one, voices intertwined, completing phrases as if sharing a single thought… Even though the selections on Valentine hail from a range of styles the performances represent jazz playing at its most sublime.

—DownBeat (5-star “Masterpiece” rating)

“The trio is the most mysterious and clarifying format in jazz... a great jazz trio perfectly balances foreground and background. It is at once intimate and communal. Leading a trio with force and grace requires both a sturdy identity and the open-mindedness of a true collaborator. Guitarist Bill Frisell... [possesses] these qualities... Mr. Frisell as an auteur, his trio mates the perfect ensemble cast... three musicians in lockstep, moving as one.”

—Wall Street Journal

“a Frisellian mix of down-home and moody, abstract and endearingly direct… the album draws to a spirited close with touching renditions of ‘What the World Needs Now Is Love’ and ‘We Shall Overcome’.”


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Printed on Wednesday, June 29, 2022