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31st annual Jazz Fest set for April 2-4

James "Doc" Carlson is retiring this year. Carlson started Jazz Fest in 1979 at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and has directed jazz musicians at the university since 1978. The 31st annual Jazz Fest, April 2-4 on the UMM campus, features Robin Eubanks, Adam Rogers and Kenni Holmen. Photo courtesy UMM.1 / 3
Robin Eubanks, renowned jazz trombonist and featured performer at this year's Jazz Fest, comes from a musical family.2 / 3
The talents of guitarist Adam Rogers, who will be featured at this year's Jazz Fest, are in high demand around the world and has performed and recorded with top musicians including Michael Brecker, Chris Potter, David Binney, Edward Simon, Randy Brecker, the Mingus Orchestra and Bill Evans.3 / 3

The renowned University of Minnesota, Morris jazz ensembles, along with three guest jazz artists, Morris campus Alumni Jazzers and more than 800 high school jazz musicians will combine to make the 31st annual Jazz Fest three days to remember.

All this jazz will take place on the campus April 2-4.

This year's Jazz Fest will mark the retirement of Dr. James "Doc" Carlson, who started Jazz Fest in 1979 and has directed student jazz musicians at Morris since fall 1978.

"It's been fantastic!" said Carlson of his experience working with Morris jazz students. "The caliber of students we have...they're extremely bright, hardworking, conscientious and delightful to work with!"

Jazz Fest will also celebrate the 25th year of the Alumni Jazzers.

High school and community jazz musicians will participate in three days of clinics with guest artists Robin Eubanks, trombone, Adam Rogers, guitar, and Kenni Holmen, saxophone.

Guest artists will be featured, along with alumni and campus student jazz musicians, in three public performances at 7:30 p.m. each evening in Edson Auditorium. Overflow viewing of each performance will be available in Turtle Mountain Café. Both locations are in the campus Student Center.

About the artists

Robin Eubanks

Eubanks is the premier jazz trombonist of his generation. A member of the groups, EB3 and Mental Images, he has also performed with the Dave Holland Quintet and Big Band. Eubanks was born to a musical family: his brother, Kevin Eubanks, is the music director for "The Tonight Show" and another brother, Duane, plays trumpet in New York. His mother has been a music educator for more than 30 years and his Uncle Ray Bryant is a prominent jazz pianist.

Eubanks graduated cum laud from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He has collaborated with such notable artists as Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Eddie Palmieri, Sun Ra, Barbra Streisand, The Rolling Stones and Talking Heads, among others. He has won Grammy Awards for his performances on Michael Brecker's "Wide Angles" and Dave Holland's "What Goes Around."

For the last several years, his schedule includes performances combined with a tenured professorship of jazz trombone at The Oberlin College Conservatory. He is popular lecturer and clinician at leading educational institutions throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Adam Rogers

Rogers is an American guitarist specializing in post bop, contemporary jazz and classical music. He is member of the Chris Potter Underground and the John Patitucci Trio, in addition to leading his own groups. He formerly was a member of the Michael Brecker Group, the Mingus Orchestra and Lost Tribe.

As one of the most in-demand guitarists in the world, Rogers has performed and recorded with many top musicians including Michael Brecker, Chris Potter, David Binney, Edward Simon, Randy Brecker, the Mingus Orchestra and Bill Evans, among others.

Rogers studied classical guitar at Mannes College of Music in Manhattan.

Kenni Holmen

Holmen is "one of the most active recording and touring musicians from the Twin Cities area. He has performed and recorded with many local, national and international artists over his 20-year career."

Holmen has performed with Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, T.C. Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Garrison Keillor, The Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, to name a few.

Those unable to secure a ticket for the traditionally sold-out Jazz Fest, overflow viewing will be available this year in the campus Student Center's Turtle Mountain Cafe on both Friday and Saturday evenings. In addition, the Friday and Saturday night performances will be streamed live. Check for a link to the streamed performance.

For Jazz Fest ticket information, call the Office of Student Activities at UMM, (320) 589-6080.