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Jazz Year


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.

A Year of World-Class Jazz at Knox College!

Rootabaga Jazz Festival

The 2021 Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival will be April 16 & 17, 2021 at the Orpheum Theatre and features Greg Ward's Rogue Parade, Soul Message, Tito Carrillo, and the Knox Jazz Ensembles.  All shows will be livestreamed on the Knox College YouTube page and a limited audience of 70 people will be allowed at each show. To allow for distancing, tickets will be sold by the Orpheum Theatre for $5, and all proceeds will benefit the Orpheum Theatre, (309) 342-2299. Masks and distancing will be strictly enforced.

In a typical year the Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival is a five-day event that partners Knox College, the Galesburg community, and local artists and musicians, and has been a part of the Knox's Department of Music for over 40 years. The festival boasts performances by the Knox Jazz Ensemble, faculty, alumni, and guest artists. The festival focuses on collaborations between guest artists and students, and performances in various venues around the community: local bars, schools, and libraries.

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2021 Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Fetstival Program

KeyNotes: The Jerome Mirza Virtual Jazz Residency

Jazz Residency

While the current pandemic has created serious and ongoing challenges to artists and organizations invested in the performance of live music, it has also offered many of us the opportunity to explore new modes of performance and audience engagement. Now in its 8th year, The Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency at Knox College will be undertaking just such a project, as we move from an in-person residency model to a virtual series featuring seven of the world’s leading jazz artists aimed at serving both Knox College students and the broader communities of students and audience members.  

Each KeyNote presentation will be broadcast at 3pm CST on the Knox College YouTube channel followed by a live question and answer session with the artist. Join us from wherever you are in the world and submit questions on the YouTube comment stream.

The KeyNotes series is designed to feature a diverse group of innovative jazz artists and educators, each of whom has designed an original virtual masterclass examining the big questions, emerging issues, and critical aesthetic ideas in jazz and creative music. Serious jazz students, jazz aficionados, casual music listeners, and artists of all kinds will find the KeyNotes series inspiring, educational, and engaging.

January 24th
Camila Meza
Storytelling Through Music and Q&A

January 31st
Amir ElSaffar
Beyond the Other Shore - Transcultural Music Making and Q&A

February 21st
Allison Miller
Creative Making RIGHT NOW! and Q&A

March 7th
Fabian Almazan
Developing a voice: Approaches to self-teaching

March 21st
Nduduzo Makhathini
Improvisation in Jazz as Divination: A (South) African Context

April 11th
Ulysses Owens Jr.
The Musicians Career Guide:Turning Your Talent Into Sustained Success

May 2nd
Jeremy Cunningham
Breaking Down the Fourth Wall

The Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency is designed to benefit Knox students, jazz practitioners, and audiences of jazz lovers from the Galesburg and surrounding communities.  The Jerome Mirza Foundation supports programs in education and the arts and was created by a bequest from Jerome Mirza, an attorney who served as president of the Illinois State Bar Association and Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Mirza was a passionate jazz aficionado, and Knox College is pleased to have this opportunity to honor his memory by sharing the love of jazz with the campus and Galesburg communities. Mirza's daughter, Candace Mirza of Wilmette, Illinois, is a 1981 Knox graduate.

The Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency Finale Concert

Jeremy Cunningham's "The Weather up There"
May 16, 2021 
4pm, Location TBD

We will feature Jerome Mirza Virtual Jazz Resident Jeremy Cunningham's powerful project "The Weather up There."  It’s a work that assails gun violence and its heartbreaking ripple effects while searching for “a way to turn the tide” of profound personal loss through adaptations of original poems.

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Printed on Sunday, April 11, 2021