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Annual Princeton Jazz Festival Begins Friday

Jazz artist Denis DiBlasio will be a featured performer.

Jazz artist Denis DiBlasio will teach and perform at the two-night Princeton Jazz Festival beginning on Friday Feb. 10.

The annual event features high school and middle school jazz ensembles from around the state and will take place at the Princeton High School Performing Arts Center. 

“The festival continues to be one of the largest jazz education events in New Jersey,” PHS Studio Band Director Joe Bongiovi said. “It provides students with great performance experience and great feedback from some of the best professionals in the field. We hope that this year’s performances will help open students’ eyes to new forms of jazz and provide a great weekend of learning, music and fun.” 

The festival is a fundraiser to help the Princeton High School band program offset the cost of trips and uniforms for students in need and to provide additional musical experiences for the students in the band program.

In addition to individual concerts by DiBlasio, the festival will feature band competitions and a series of jazz clinics, during which performers will share their expertise and provide mentoring to students.

Tickets are $10 per evening for adults and $5 per evening for seniors and students and are available online at www.princetonjazz.org.

The jazz clinics will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the band competitions at 6 p.m. On Friday, DiBlasio will appear in concert at 9 p.m. On Saturday, he will perform at 9:30 p.m. The award-winning PHS Studio Band, which played at the 70th Commemoration of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii last year and placed first at the Berklee College of Music’s High School Jazz Festival in Boston, will perform with DiBlasio.

DiBlasio is currently the director of the jazz department and conducts the Jazz Lab Band at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.  He is also the executive director of the Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz at Rowan. He has produced nine recordings of his own and is especially known for his inspirational connection with young musicians. 

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