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posted: 1/18/2013 12:48 PM

Musicians gearing up for Jazz in the Meadows next month

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  • Alex Linzmeier and Leah Malsom are part of the Wheeling High School Jazz Combo at the 2012 Jazz in the Meadows.

      Alex Linzmeier and Leah Malsom are part of the Wheeling High School Jazz Combo at the 2012 Jazz in the Meadows.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Submitted by District 214

The Rolling Meadows High School Music Boosters will present the 28th annual Jazz in the Meadows Jazz Festival Saturday, Feb. 23, at the school, 2901 W. Central Road, Rolling Meadows.

More than 100 jazz bands representing 65 schools from five states will participate in one of the largest and most highly regarded jazz gatherings in the Midwest.

The general public is welcome to attend and enjoy performances throughout the day and evening. While this is an educational event, guests will have the opportunity to listen to some of the top jazz bands and combos from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri. Many of the bands and combos will participate in the competitive portion of the event, to achieve top honors and the opportunity to play in the Grand Finale Concert at the end of the day.

In addition to the highest scoring bands, the Grand Finale Concert will include a performance by guest artist, the Bob Lark Alumni Big Band -- an ensemble that is virtually a Who's Who of Chicago area jazz musicians and educators.

There is also a noontime concert featuring a local guest artist, the Nia Quintet, led by Scott Anderson.

The competitive portion of the day will feature performances in four classes for high schools based on school size, a high school combo competition, a single class for junior high bands and a class specifically for "second bands" for high schools that support two levels.

Each band will perform a 15-minute set, followed by a period of evaluation and instruction. Feedback is presented to each performing group by a trio of jazz professionals and educators. Jazz in the Meadows draws from Midwest colleges and universities to provide experienced educators on each panel.

The 28th annual Jazz in the Meadows will kick off at 8 a.m. with performances every half-hour throughout the day. The Grand Finale Concert is scheduled to begin at approximately 4:45 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door. A $10 adult ticket allows access to all performances throughout the day, including the Grand Finale Concert; seniors and students pay $7. A family of up to four can buy a full-day pass for $25. Tickets for the Grand Finale Concert alone are $7 adults; $5 students and seniors.

There are opportunities for families to volunteer to help run the festival, place ads in the program book, or serve as sponsors. For details, call (847) 718-5752 during school hours or visit