On April 25, Champaign/Urbana, Ill. will once again celebrate the run-up to International Jazz Day with live music and film clips at the Art Theater, the first of two free events that evening.
This year’s program, Blowing Hot, Blowing Cool: Miles Davis, Clark Terry & the Jazz Trumpet Legacy, includes clips from two feature films: Miles Ahead, starring Don Cheadle as Miles Davis during a particularly turbulent period in the artist’s life, and Keep On Keepin’ On, about jazz great Clark Terry in what the New York Times called “a rare musical mentorship, captured with heart and soul.”
In addition to the films, the audience will experience Ronald Romm’s trumpet virtuosity live and hear insights from guest commentator Thomas Birkner.
Romm, one of its founding members, retired from the renowned Canadian Brass after performing in over 4,500 concerts and 60 recordings. In 2012, the International Trumpet Guild named him the recipient of its highest honor. Working with the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, Romm will showcase several historic horns, including the Conn B-flat cornet Herbert L. Clarke played in John Philip Sousa’s band.
Birkner is also an International Trumpet Guild winner and winner of its 1980 Student Jazz Improvisation Competition. He went on to succeed founder John Garvey as director of the University of Illinois jazz bands. Birkner’s U of I ensemble performed with Clark Terry, so this evening will be a bit of a homecoming for him in more ways than one. In recent years this noted music educator has traveled from the St. Louis metro area to perform in C-U with the Traditional Jazz Orchestra.
Following the Art Theater performances, everyone is invited to an after-party at the Esquire Lounge featuring a combo led by trumpeters Jeff Helgesen and Nathaniel Banks playing from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. The evening’s events are free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at both venues.
Sponsors include the UNESCO Center for Global Citizenship, The Conservatory of Central Illinois, the University of Illinois Library’s Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Esquire Lounge and George and Mary Perlstein.
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