45th Annual Lakeland Jazz Festival Pays Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie

Fri 3/17-Sun 3/19

Returning for the 45th year, the Lakeland Jazz Festival at Lakeland Community College in Mentor presents three days of performances by both international jazz stars and local high school musicians.

From 8:30am-4:30pm Friday and 8:30am-2:30pm Saturday, more than two dozen Ohio high school bands will perform and be adjudicated by professors from local college and university jazz programs.

Friday evening’s concert at 8pm will feature one of Northeast Ohio’s most prominent veteran musicians, sax player Ernie Krivda, and his All-Star Quartet. He’ll be joined by pianist Lafayette Carthon, bassist Jeff Halsey and drummer Renell Gonsalves. General admission tickets are $15; students are $7.

At 8pm Saturday, the festival presents one of the most impressive and star-studded ones it’s ever done. The Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars include two musicians who actually played with the trumpeter/bandleader who died in 1993 — bassist John Lee and trumpeter Claudio Roditi, as well as piaist Cyrus Chestnut, tenor sax player Eric Alexander and drummer Tommy Campbell. They’ll be performing beloved compositions from Gillespie’s repertoire in honor of the centennial year of his birth. Tickets are $30 for the general public, $15 for students.

In addition, from 4-5pm, the Gillespie All-Stars will host a clinic for jazz musicians of all levels as well as the general public. It’s free and open to all.

The festival concludes on Sunday with the Big Band Matinee featuring the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra and the Kent State Jazz Orchestra. Tickets are $15 for the public, $7 for students.


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