Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival
The Festival Pass is $30 per person and includes access to all events. Individual tickets may also be purchased at the door.
The festival was initiated in 1980 at Carl Sandburg College by Galesburg residents Mona and Tom Tourlentes. It began as the Rootabaga Jazz Festival, named after Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories, a children's book. Sandburg intentionally misspelled "rutabaga" for the book's title.
Thanks to the hard work of numerous students and music lovers, the Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival continues its commitment to bringing world-class jazz to the Galesburg community. Guest artists have included Kurt Elling, Benny Green, and the Artie Shaw and Woody Herman bands.
|2013||Ben Williams and Sound Effect, The Deep Blue Organ Trio|
|2012||Noah Preminger Group, Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls|
|2011||The Julian Lage Group, The Funky Butt Brass Band|
|2010||The Matt Wilson Trio|
|2009||Aaron Goldberg Trio, The Romaniacs|
|2008||The Hilario Duran Trio, The Renegades|
|2007||The Ben Allison Quartet, Happy Apple|
|2006||Jim Rotondi, Eric Alexander, Ashanti|
|2005||Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts, Youngblood Brass Band|
|2004||Greg Osby Four, Doug Wamble Quartet|
|2003||Mose Allison, Zach Brock and the Coffee Achievers|
|2002||Joey DeFrancesco Trio, Tony Monaco Trio|
|2001||Kurt Elling Quartet, Orbert Davis, Zach Brock|
|2000||Benny Green, Pat Harbison, Mike Lee, Matt Wilson|
|1999||Rob McConnell, Bobby Shew, Mark Vinci, Orquesta Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz|
|1998||The Hornheads, Jae Sinnitt Trio, Orquesta Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz, Mike Pagan, Rich Shanklin|
|1997||Curtis Fuller, Brad Goode, Mike Smith, Gene Parker, Kevin Hart Latin Jazz Quintet|
|1996||The Hornheads, Charlie Kohlhase Quintet|
2014 Festival Schedule
|Knox Faculty and Friends Combo
The performance features Knox's accomplished jazz faculty and outstanding local jazz musicians. Knox boasts a tremendously talented and renowned jazz performance faculty, and we are proud to open the festival by showcasing these outstanding musicians as well as some of the area's finest jazz artists. The Knox Faculty and Friends Combo performance is a celebration of the vibrant jazz community in central Illinois.
Time: 8:00 p.m.-midnight
Location: McGillacuddy's Restaurant
Admission: $7 (save by purchasing Festival Pass)
|Knox Alumni Big Band and CALJE (Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble)
With only one rehearsal before their festival performance, the Alumni Big Band always impresses with a spirited performance that sounds like they've been playing together for years. Friday's featured artists, CALJE, bring together traditional Latin music from the Caribbean and South and Central America with contemporary compositions that honor the history and style of Latin music and offer an exciting new voice in contemporary Afro-Jazz.
Time: 8:00-9:00 p.m. (Alumni Big Band) and 9:30 p.m.-midnight (CALJE)
Location: McGillacuddy's Restaurant
Admission: $10 (save by purchasing Festival Pass)
|Rootabaga Kids: Meet the Artists
Children of all ages, families, and music lovers are invited to join CALJE for a free performance and educational program that will bring the styles, traditions, and techniques of Afro-Latin jazz to life. The whole family will love this event.
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location: Galesburg Public Library, Community Room, 40 E. Simmons Street
Knox Jazz Ensemble with The Aaron Diehl Quartet
The award-winning Knox Jazz Ensemble opens the Saturday evening concert followed by festival headliners, The Aaron Diehl Quartet. Pianist Aaron Diehl was the 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz of the American Pianists Association and has been hailed by the New York Times as a "revelation." Diehl's distinctive style pays homage to the jazz tradition while establishing his own original voice. A member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, he has also performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Boston Orchestra, and numerous jazz legends and emerging stars. Diehl's quartet is reminiscent of the great modern jazz quartet in its emphasis on chamber jazz and the intricate melodic and harmonic relationships possible within the piano, vibraphone, bass, and drum ensemble setting.
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Location: Orpheum Theatre
Admission: $15-20 (save by purchasing Festival Pass)