‘Zoot Fest’ Brings a Taste of Jazz to ESU

Photo Courtesy/ Esu.edu ESU has a history of jazz on campus.

By Edita Bardhi

Opinion Editor

This evening, ESU and Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection will be presenting, “Zoot Fest.” The event, “Zoot Fest,” is a yearly celebration of famous saxophone players Al Cohn and Zoot Sims.

Located in Fine and Performing Arts Center, the celebration will begin at 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. With an admission fee of $10 per student and a $30 for all others, attendees will be given a night filled with music, instruments, and famous saxophone players.

Everyone alike is welcomed to appear at this tuneful event, especially students.

Additionally, if students are looking to still get a tatste of the Jazz culture, at 9 p.m. there will be a Deer Head Inn Jam Session free of charge.

“I am always trying to get younger people involved. A lot of the people who came to Zoot Fest in the past were older people or people who heard Al and Zoot play live in the 60’s and 70’s,” said ESU Instructor Matthew Vashlishan.

Attendees will be greeted with a small performance done by ESU’s marching band. This performance will offer refreshments. All donations go to the band itself.

As part of the first half, a tribute to Al and Zoot will take place. Famous saxophone player David Libeman will be seen playing a tenor saxophone as Vincent Herring plays an alto saxophone.

In addition, Dave Leonhardt, Pal Rostock, and Bill Goodwin are arranged with piano, bass, and drums.

This performance occurs until 8:00 p.m.

Then, “Music From the Benny Carter Recording: Further Definitions,” is scheduled to perform. Famous saxophone players Nelson Hill and Neil Weltzel will play alto saxophones.

Also, Dave Demsey and Craig Yarmeko will both play tenor saxophones. Lastly, Jay Rattman will play barrow-tone saxophone.

Furthermore, the instruments used in “Zoot Fest,” have all been donated to ESU. Amongst all the donators, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims were two of them. Their families donated a lot to the collection.

“It is all stuff that we have collected here. It is all stuff that had to do with Al or Zoot or one of the major donors to the collection in some way” said Vashlishan.

The collection first began with only two saxophone players: Al Cohn and Zoot Fest. This dates to 2005.

Nowadays, ESU and Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection tries to base their music around these two legends.

Particularly, the collection includes different music that they have written.

In all, students are encouraged to come and listen to these famous players. If students happen to enjoy the collection, fear not. Plenty of Jazz festivals are available outside of ESU.

One festival takes places in the Delaware Water Gap in September. Also, Leigh Valley offers Jazz festivals between October and November.

“A lot of the stuff we do is present music live that in many cases it was never heard of. A lot of the concerts that we put on are things that you could hear for real in real life. Not on a record. Not on a CD. Most people never heard of. They bought the record and that is how they are going to hear it. So, if you come to these things you could hear a piece of history,” said Vashlishan.

For more information go to www.esu.edu/jazzatesu

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