Jazz festival brings area students to The Venue March 8-9

The Venue in downtown Aurora is hosting students from several area schools on the weekend of March 8-9 for a Student Master Class Jazz Workshop and Festival with Pete Ellman Big Band and Friends.

The weekend workshop will culminate in an evening performance on Saturday, March 9, at The Venue, featuring the Pete Ellman Big Band with guest artists, including Dave Weckl, Louis Dowdeswell, and Bob Reynolds.

The Venue, 21 S. Broadway, is a live music performance room that is run by the nonprofit Fox Valley Music Foundation.

The jazz workshop and festival will include clinics and master classes for more than 240 local students from two middle schools, six high schools, and one college.

The Fox Valley Music Foundation received a Quality of Life grant from the city of Aurora along with a sponsorship from John and Maryellen Riley to host the event.

“In collaboration with Pete Ellman Big Band, the Fox Valley Music Foundation is providing education for young musicians by supplying access to international artists through master classes and group instruction as well as a place for students to perform and showcase the skills they learn,” said Karen Fouts, executive director of the foundation.

“This is an opportunity for students in participating school districts to learn from professional musicians and perform for their community,” she added.

Local schools include Thompson Middle School in St. Charles, Oswego High School, Naperville Central High School, as well as College of DuPage, and more.

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About The Venue

The Venue, a community-focused live music and performance room, is located at 21 S. Broadway in downtown Aurora. The Venue opened in 2019, and is owned and operated by the Fox Valley Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to local music awareness, education and preservation.

The Pete Ellman Big Band gives area students the opportunity to perform before a live audience at The Venue in downtown Aurora. Courtesy of The Venue
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