Rowan Festival concert offers a taste of jazz as heard around the world

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The 43rd Annual Rowan Jazz Festival concludes its three-day schedule with a concert celebrating jazz interpretations from around the world.

The 43rd Annual Rowan Jazz Festival’s closing night concert – entitled “Jazz Goes Around the World” – offers guest performers and an international trip right from your seat in Pfleeger Concert Hall on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 8 pm.

Under the direction of Denis DiBlasio, the festival takes a musical tour by spotlighting jazz interpretations from Russia, Brazil, Italy and Eastern Europe, among many other destinations. Special guests include Metropolitan Opera tenor Jon Garrison and jazz vibraphone player (and Rowan alumnae) Behn Gillece. They join the Rowan Lab Band (led by DiBlasio) and the Rowan Jazz Band (under the direction of George Rabbai) for a rousing concert.

“It's very exciting for me to come back and perform for the jazz festival,” Gillece notes. “Not only did I participate while I was a student at Rowan, but I remember coming to the festivals as a high school student, and it was always a great learning experience.”

Gillece, a New Jersey native and 2005 Rowan graduate, performed regularly around his home state and in Philadelphia before moving to New York and making a name for himself in that city’s jazz scene. As co-leader of a performing ensemble with tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser, Gillece has been part of three critically-acclaimed recordings on the Posi-tone label. The most recent, "Duotone," features the group’s original work which they’ve performed in regular West Village appearances. Away from the ensemble, he’s performed at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and Kimmel Center, in addition to festivals worldwide.

In a different musical genre, Garrison has enjoyed a 35-year career singing with the most prestigious conductors, opera companies and symphony orchestras in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. His operatic debut was as Rinuccio in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi with the New York Metropolitan Opera. Since then, he has sung 21 roles in more than 200 performances with The Met.

The concert concludes a three-day festival, hosted by the Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz Studies at Rowan, which focuses on providing a non-competitive, educational environment. Schools from throughout the region take part in adjudication sessions, workshops and performances aimed at teaching, as well as spotlighting talented high school and middle school musicians. The daily schedule - from 9 am to 5 pm in Rowan’s Wilson Hall - features free daily jazz clinics at 11:45 a.m. which are open to the public. For more information on the daytime schedule, contact Denis DiBlasio at 856-256-4500, ext. 3528.

The closing concert takes place in Pfleeger Concert Hall, located in Wilson Hall on the campus of Rowan University, Route 322 in Glassboro. Tickets are $15, general admission. Rowan students are admitted free with valid ID. For tickets or additional concert information, call the box office at (856) 256-4545 or purchase online at rowan.tix.com.

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