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Gene Harris Jazz Festival kicks off in style

Posted at 5:06 AM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 07:31:33-04

BOISE, Idaho — The 2019 Gene Harris Jazz Festival continues today with free workshops and performances in the Boise State Student Union Building. Tonight there will be "club night" concerts from jazz bands across downtown Boise that will wrap up the two-day festival.

On Thursday, the educational portion of the jazz festival included music clinics and competitions. About 1,000 students participate and both junior high and high school bands compete for prizes as well as bragging rights.

"By bringing these huge artist and having them be part of the festival we're really drawing them in, because the students want to come here, they want to play, they want to throw down, but they also want to hang with the artist and see the master class, and the artist are in many cases not so far away from their age bracket so they get to really see that as part of their future," said the director of BSU Jazz, Derek Ganong.

The top school bands perform each night along with the Boise State Jazz Ensemble and the festival super band. This is the 22nd year of the festival. Thursday night's Headline Concert featured Latin Grammy-nominated Rafael Piccolotto de Lima, a famed Brazilian composer, arranger, conductor and producer.

You can find the full schedule and buy tickets here.