After Last Year’s Cancellation, Lakeland Jazz Festival Returns Online

Fri 3/12-Sat 3/13

The 49th annual Lakeland Jazz Festival is going to look a little different than the previous 48. Number 48, scheduled last for the weekend of March 20-22, was abruptly cancelled when everything shut down the previous week. This year, it’s back but it won’t feature hordes of middle school and high school musicians eager to show off their chops for professional judges, and live concerts by top jazz musicians. Instead, both the adjudication element and the concert will be held remotely.

This year, the students were invited to submit recordings of themselves, which will be judged by members of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. The students will get a
certificate of participation and a written critique to help them improve their performances.  The best soloists get an online lesson with an adjudicator of their choice and a year’s pass for them and three guests to Arts at Lakeland music & theater performances.

Friday evening, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra will be joined sax player Joe Lovano, an international jazz star who was born and raised in Cleveland and gradated from Euclid High School. His stellar career has spanned five decades in which he’s performed with many jazz greats and recorded dozens of albums as a band leader and dozens more with other artists. The pre-recorded concert will feature CJO and Lovano playing Jim McNeely’s arrangement of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” It will be preceded by a performance by the Lakeland Civic  Jazz Orchestra.

Saturday’s events include a 7pm pre-concert talk on jazz improvisation with Canadian pianist/vocalist Carol Welsmman and interviewer John Simna of WCPN ideastream’s Jazz All Night with John Simna. At 8pm Welsman, who, like Lovano, attended Berklee College of Music, and has become well-known north of the border with multiple Juno Award nominations, will perform in concert.

All events are free; no registration is required. Go here to link to them.

[Joe Lovano photo by Craig Lovell]


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