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January 28, 2002

Jazz fest starts scattin' Feb. 1

By Deb Hammacher


Emory’s Annual Jazz Festival has played to capacity crowds in recent years with its guest artists on Friday night and traditional “Big Band Night” on Saturday. This year’s festival will be held in the Performing Arts Studio, Feb. 1–2 at 8:15 p.m.

The two-day festival is organized by Scott Stewart, director of instrumental music for Emory. “The Jazz Festival is a rare and intimate opportunity in our city to experience the convergence of nationally known artists, jazz scholars from Emory and beyond, and Atlanta’s loyal jazz audiences,” Stewart said. “This community-oriented festival also helps to build awareness of Emory’s own jazz curriculum and ensembles.”

Joined by an Atlanta-based favorite, The Gary Motley Trio, acclaimed guest artists Sara and Rachel Caswell will share their jazz violin and vocal talents on the first night of the festival.

Sara Caswell is a graduate of Indiana University, where she received a bachelor’s degree with a double major in violin performance and jazz studies. She has worked with many top artists at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Summer Residency in Aspen, Colo., and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Jazz Festival in Chicago. She was a featured soloist at the Sarasota Jazz Festival and a guest artist alongside Skitch Henderson and The New York Pops Allstars in New York’s Carnegie Hall. She has won more than 100 music awards, scholarships and competitions.

Rachel Caswell is an award-winning jazz vocalist with an unusual style combining extraordinary scatting ability and sensitive song interpretation. She has performed with the Billy Taylor Trio and Curtis Fuller and was selected as one of two vocalists for the 1997 Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony at Jazz in Aspen. She has degrees in classical cello and jazz studies from Indiana University and a master of music degree in jazz studies from New England Conservatory of Music.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, the annual “Big Band Night,” Emory’s Jazz Combo will be directed by Gary Motley. Motley is a jazz improvisation lecturer for Emory with an active performance career. Emory’s combo will be followed by Alabama’s Jacksonville State University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Brian Bankson, and Georgia State University’s Jazz Ensemble, directed by Gordon Vernick. Jacksonville State is returning to the festival for its second year.

Tickets for the festival are $10 for Friday and $4 for Saturday. Advance ticket purchase is recommended, as seating is limited. For tickets, call the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050 or visit