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updated: 7/21/2013 6:35 AM

'6 Cool Nites' jazz series opens in Naperville

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  • Janice Borla is one of the featured vocalists during the "Hot Jazz -- 6 Cool Nites" concert series at Naperville's North Central College.

    Janice Borla is one of the featured vocalists during the "Hot Jazz -- 6 Cool Nites" concert series at Naperville's North Central College.
    Daily Herald file photo

By Sean Hammond

Any jazz enthusiast will tell you no two performances are the same.

Janice Borla says that will definitely be the case when she joins Jay Clayton and Peter Eldridge for the annual "Hot Jazz -- 6 Cool Nites" concert series that opens at 7:30 tonight at Naperville's North Central College.

The trio of vocalists will take the stage for five performances in a six-night span at the Madden Theatre in the Wentz Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave.

While some of the songs may be the same, she says, the tempo and solos will be different each night.

"When you go to see a band, typically the audience thinks they'll hear a re-enactment of (that band's) recording," Borla said. "In jazz, each performance is unique because it's reflecting how they (the musicians) feel on that particular occasion."

The performances are in conjunction with the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp at North Central. On July 27, the sixth of the "6 Cool Nites" will feature a performance from roughly 30 camp participants.

The program is in its 25th year and its 17th at North Central. The purpose of the camp is to work with students during the day, and then have the instructors use the evening performances to demonstrate some of the techniques in action.

"During the day, we're teaching," Borla said "But at night we are turning into performing artists. We figure most of the audience doesn't care about the classes, so we put on a good show."

Borla will sing Tuesday night with Eldridge and Thursday night with Clayton. On Wednesday night, Eldridge and Clayton will handle the vocals.

Eldridge may be the most well known of the trio, having been a co-founding member of the New York Voices, a Grammy-award winning vocal ensemble formed in 1987. This is his first time participating in the Hot Jazz program.

Unlike Eldridge, Clayton has been involved in Hot Jazz since the beginning. She and Borla have worked together for many years.

"We all know each other well, which makes for good musical chemistry," Borla said.

Borla says they don't rehearse much as a group. When all three of them perform together, there is much more improvisation onstage. And that's what Borla likes, because she says it helps push the limits of their vocal performance.

Tickets for the professional Hot Jazz performances are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets for Saturday's student performance are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Four-night concert passes can be purchased for $60 by adults and $45 by students and seniors.

"Everybody is really at the top of their game," Borla said. "I've never really talked to anybody who was disappointed about coming to this event."

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