Steve Enos and the Cleveland High School All-Stars feature Jazz Lines Publications Arrangements at the Tri-C Jazz Fest!

The Tri-C JazzFest, held in Cleveland each spring, honors the work of jazz legends as well as showcases the work of a broad spectrum of jazz artists. In addition to performances, the ten-day event features jazz workshops, clinics, and educational programs. This past April we were pleased to be a part of the event: Rob DuBoff gave a bandleader clinic and several Jazz Lines Publications arrangements were performed during the concerts.

The Tri-C JazzFest, founded in 1980, has grown to be recognized both nationally and internationally as a premiere educational jazz festival, attracting name performers and music fans from around the world. Founded in 1980 by Dr. Thom Horning and Reginald Buckner, Tri-C JazzFest stays true to its mission to: foster the history and nurture the future of jazz; provide educational opportunities for students of all ages and in all walks of life; and bring world-class Jazz to Cleveland. While it began as a weekend event, it grew into a 10-day festival, reaching 15,000 people annually. The JazzFest Cleveland has achieved its reputation as an international educational and cultural festival by providing local and international artists the opportunity to showcase their creative work and by highlighting the enduring elements and important directions in this distinctly American music. It is the largest music festival in Ohio, and the largest educational jazz festival in the country.

Steve Enos, the director of jazz studies for Tri-C Community College in Cleveland, served as the host for the event. His big band was comprised of high school all-stars from the local area, featuring bright young guitarist Lucas Kadish. The three JLP pieces Steve’s band played were all recorded by Wes Montgomery: Twisted Blues, Naptown Blues, and Movin’ Wes Part II. Kadish, though having to fill the large guitar shoes of Wes Montgomery, performed admirably. The all-stars did a great job of recreating these Oliver Nelson and Johnny Pate arrangements.

Here’s a clip of The High School All-Stars featuring Lucas Kadish performing Movin’ Wes Part II

Also during the event Rob was pleased to have an opportunity to talk shop with area high school bandleaders. The goal of the seminar was to jointly come up with a way to get more historic jazz music in front of high school kids. All too of- ten school big band repertoire is primarily comprises new compositions or arrangements of current pop tunes. Of course this music has a place on the band stand, but it is the goal of Jazz Lines Publications to promote the music by arrangers such as Benny Carter, Gil Evans, Mary Lou Williams, Marty Paich, Gerry Mulligan, Alec Wilder, Oliver Nelson, Duke Pearson, and historically important jazz composers. We feel that students – and audiences – need to have a firm grasp on jazz history and it is our contention that only through performance and study of this music will that be achieved. During the shop talk we were able to come up with some constructive methods of inspiring kids and as well as instructing other bandleaders on how to select and interpret historic jazz charts.

We would like to thank Steve Enos and event coordinator Terri Pontremoli for inviting us to attend this important event. We hope to be involved again in the future!