PITTSBURG, Kan. — As of Monday afternoon, a limited number of tickets remained for the 49th Annual Pittsburg State University Jazz Festival concert featuring acclaimed trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and his International All Stars. The concert, planned for 7 p.m. March 3 at Memorial Auditorium, will wrap up the day-long festival.
The festival itself, meanwhile, is sold out: Organizer Robert Kehle has registered the limit of 74 high school and middle school bands that will come to Pittsburg from across the Four State Area to perform and be judged. He has had to turn away six.
Beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing throughout the day, student bands will take turns playing for a group of judges who are experienced educators and musicians.
Those concerts will take place at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 S. Homer, and at Memorial Auditorium, 503 N. Pine. They are open to the public at no charge.
The evening ticketed concert will kick off with the PSU Jazz ensemble, directed by Kehle, as the warm-up group before Gordon and his group take the stage.
Gordon’s career has included touring the world performing to great acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Jazz Journalists Association named him 2020 “Trombonist of the Year” for the record-breaking 13th time.
He’s topped Downbeat Critics Poll for “Best Trombone” again for an unprecedented six times. Last year he was the recipient of the “Louie Award,” the International Trombone Award, and the Satchmo Award, among others.
Gordon is a prolific recording artist and is extremely popular for his unmatched signature sound, plunger technique, and unique vocals. He can be heard on hundreds of recordings, soundtracks, live DVDs, and documentaries.
In addition to an exceptionally successful solo career, Gordon tours regularly leading his quintet, headlining at legendary jazz venues and performing arts centers throughout the world. He is commissioned frequently and has an extensive catalog of original compositions that span the various timbres of jazz and chamber music.
Musicians and ensembles of every caliber perform his music throughout the world and his arrangement of the theme song to NPR’s “All Things Considered” is heard daily across the globe.
Gordon is a former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and has been a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor's "Jazz at the Kennedy Center" Series. Gordon is also one of America’s most persuasive and committed music educators, and serves as director of jazz studies at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia.
Tickets for the evening concert are $15 for adults and $10 for children, seniors, and military. PSU students are admitted free, and discounted tickets for PSU faculty and staff are available with valid PSU ID.
They may be purchased or picked up at the PSU Ticket Office in 137 Garfield Weede Building. They also may be purchased at 620-235-4796 or at www.pittstate.edu/tickets.
About the festival
The festival was started in 1974 by Professor of Music Russell Jones with just 14 bands. In 1978, he passed the baton to Kehle, who has continued to grow it.
“It has evolved into what is believed to be the biggest one-day jazz festival in the Midwest,” Jones said. “Bob has brought in absolutely amazing groups of people over the years.”
It’s a bittersweet festival for Kehle, who is retiring in May.