Your city • inside and out

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

In Here & Now on February 25, 2009 at 12:26 pm

bobby_mcferrin

2/25-28 • The death of jazz has been debated since the 1950s, when Ed Bland prophesied the end in his seminal film “Cry of Jazz.” But anyone questioning the future of the art form here in the Inland Northwest needs to get in their car, hit the Pullman highway and spend the next four days checking out the University of Idaho’s world-class, award-winning Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival. Yes, it’s the biggest jazz fest in the Inland Northwest, (though EWU’s Jazz Dialogue and the ThinkSWING! festival each fall come close) and it starts, well, now.

This year, under Artistic Director John Clayton’s leadership, the U of I is taking the “international” part of the festival’s moniker quite literally, showcasing jazz sounds from around the world, including Latin, Brazilian and Caribbean jazz, plus a special tribute to Ray Brown. And if you’re afraid you won’t know how to move to all that groovy music, this year U of I is providing two Latin dance instructors to keep you from making a fool of yourself. The instructors are also slated to perform at this evening’s kickoff. Oh, and headlining the event? Grammy-award winning artist Bobby McFerrin will play the popular Friday-evening concert. Festival ticket prices range from $22 to $32, and may be purchased at the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center Ticket Office by calling 208.885.7212, or toll free 1.88.88.UIDAHO; or online at www.UItickets.com.

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