University News

Al Sears Festival to Feature Wycliffe Gordon

September 24, 2012

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MACOMB, IL - - The 11th annual Al Sears Jazz Festival, Friday-Sunday, Sept. 28-30, will feature a variety of performances in this year's lineup.

The Western Illinois Jazz Studio Orchestra will perform with WIU alum Stephen Hawk at the festival, and the Bureau of Cultural Affairs (BCA) will present Wycliffe Gordon as the headline act at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.

Hawk is director of Jazz Studies at Slippery Rock University (PA). He is principal trumpet for the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Broadway Orchestra and the MCG Big Band, and is co-leader and founder of Three Rivers Jazz Orchestra. He earned his bachelor's degree in music education from WIU, and earned both his master's degree and Ph.D in music at the University of Texas at Austin.

Gordon is a renowned composer, musician, conductor and arranger of jazz who has performed worldwide. The Jazz Journalists Association has named him Trombonist of the Year six times, and he won the Jazz Journalists Association Critics' Choice Award for Best Trombone. He has also been nominated for the Jazzpar Prize. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Scranton and is the youngest member of the U.S. Statesmen of Jazz.

Tickets for Wycliffe Gordon ($15 for the public; $10 for senior citizens and free for WIU students with a valid ID) are available at the Hainline Box Office, phone (309) 298-2900 from noon to 5 p.m. weekdays, or at, click on "Get Tickets."

The Saturday performances of the Al Sears Jazz Festival will take place at Chandler Park, north of Macomb's downtown square, with performances starting at 10 a.m. In case of rain, the performances will be moved to the Spoon River College Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.

Saturday's line-up includes:

• The Dixie Daredevils
• The Joel Moore Quintet
• The Ann Collins Trio
• The Western Illinois Jazz Symphony Orchestra

All events are open free to the public.

The Sally Weisenberg Trio will headline a live jazz concert at from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 at Shiloh's Bar and Bistro, and the Dixie Daredevils will perform at a brunch at Shiloh's Sunday, Sept. 30. Call (309) 832-5299 for brunch reservations.

For more information, go to

Major sponsors of the Al Sears Festival include WIU College of Fine Arts and Communication, WIU Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Tri-States Public Radio, Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Corporation, the City of Macomb and individual and corporate sponsors.

Posted By: Sarah Tomkinson (
Office of University Relations