More than a dozen of the state’s top high school jazz ensembles will gather at the University of Rhode Island on Saturday, February 2, for the annual Jazz Band Festival organized under the Rhode Island Music Educators Association (RIMEA). The public is invited to sit in and listen for free as the bands offer their best performances in competition from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., with just an hour break for lunch. All performances will be in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston.
The bands participating in this year’s festival are Classical High School’s “Classical Gas” directed by Allan Raskin; Coventry High School Jazz Ensemble directed by William Smith; Bishop Hendricken’s “Academy Jazz” directed by Sean Donnelly; Portsmouth High School Jazz Ensemble directed by Ted Rausch; Toll Gate High School Jazz Ensemble directed by George Landrie; North Smithfield High School Jazz Ensemble directed by Fritz Benz; West Warwick High School “Jazz Ensemble A” directed by Metro Narcisi; Woonsocket High School Jazz Band directed by Christopher Depot; Barrington High School Jazz Ensemble directed by Barbara Hughes, and also the Jazz Combo, directed by Hughes; Cranston East Big Band directed by Mark Colozzi; South Kingstown High School Jazz Band directed by Donald Smith; East Greenwich High School Jazz Ensemble directed by Brendan Carniaux; North Kingstown High School Senior Jazz Ensemble directed by Toni-Annette Silveira; and the Exeter-West Greenwich Big Band Jazz Ensemble directed by Gregg Charest.
The URI Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center, off Bills Road. For more information, contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or check the website, www.uri.edu/music.