Reggie Thomas

Jazz Fest Welcomes Reggie Thomas, Performing with MYA Jazz Combo (12pm)   “One of the most in demand pianists and educators in the country, Reggie Thomas’ soulful, hard-swinging brand of piano immediately grabs an audience and assures them that a swinging time is set to be had by all.” “Few jazz keyboardists have excelled at both piano and organ…On piano, Thomas shows off a sensitive touch, a rich sense of harmony and fleet single-note runs; on organ, he delivers grits, gravy and gospel in satisfying portions…” Reginald Thomas can be seen fronting his own groups (Mardra/Reggie Thomas Ensemble; OGD) on both piano and Hammond organ and as a sideman with great artists including Hamiett Blueit, Ann Hampton Callaway, and the Carl Allen/Rodney Whitaker Ensemble. Most recently he was the accompanist for the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition at theKennedy Center in Washington DC. Reggie continues to appear as guest artist at collegiate jazz festivals around the country including Lawrence University, the University of South Florida, and Texas Tech University. He has also performed internationally in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Milan, Italy; Warsaw and Poznan, Poland; Senegal, West Africa; and London, England. Recordings include work with Clay Jenkins, Kim Richmond, Clark Terry/Mike Vax, as well as his own recordings Fade to Blue with wife Mardra (MaxJazz), Standard Time (Victoria) and 4 (Jazz Compass). Reggie has been awarded the Excellence in the Arts award from the Greater St. Louis Arts and Education Council and was named in the Riverfront Times 2005 “Best of St. Louis” issue as Best Jazz Artist. Reggie is professor of music at Southern Illinois University... read more

Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band

Jazz Fest Welcomes Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band (6pm)   Bob Lark is recognized regionally, nationally and internationally as a contemporary jazz educator and performer of integrity. His approach to pedagogy and rehearsal techniques has been noted by participation in professional conferences; publication of articles; compact disc recordings as both a performer and ensemble director; and the direction of numerous student honors ensembles. Down Beat magazine recognized Bob’s work in 2010 with their Jazz Education Achievement Award. As a performer, Bob is a trumpet and flugelhorn player whose performances are especially notable for his lyrical style and fine tone. His harmonically oriented improvisations shift between aggressive and cool playing. In speaking of Lark, jazz icon Clark Terry stated: “He’s a very good trumpet player, a very good musician. He’s paid his dues.” Two compact disc recordings by Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band – Sweet Return (Jazzed Media JM1068), and Reunion (Jazzed Media JM1057) – have received fantastic reviews by print and electronic media. Recently released on the Jazzed Media label is the critically acclaimed compact disc recording Thick As Thieves (Jazzed Media JM1075), by The Bob Lark/Phil Woods Quintet. This follows the success of a series of recordings on the Jazzed Media label, including additional recordings by The Bob Lark/Phil Woods Quintet; Bob Lark and his ALUMNI BIG BAND; and Bob Lark and Friends, with Phil Woods, Rufus Reid, Jim McNeely and Mark Colby. Bob’s playing and writing are also featured on the CD recordings Until You and First Steps on the Hallway label. He is an exclusive Yamaha Performing Artist. In 2013, DePaul University... read more

And the 2017 Winners are…

Congratulations to the 2017 Jazz Fest Award Winners! 2017 Grand Champion: Prospect Jazz Ensemble I High School Jazz Ensembles Class AA 3. Naperville North Jazz Ensemble 2. Mundelein Jazz Ensemble 1. Prospect Jazz Ensemble I High School Jazz Ensembles Class A 3. Carmel Catholic Jazz Band 2. Lewistown Jazz Ensemble 1. Tinley Park Honors Jazz Ensemble High School Jazz Ensembles II Class AA 3. TIE: Prospect Jazz Ensemble II & Warren Township Jazz Lab Band 2. Naperville North Jazz Band 1. Mundelein Jazz Orchestra High School Jazz Ensembles II Class A 3. Antioch Community Jazz Ensemble II 2. Champaign Central Lab Band 1. Champaign Central Stage Band High School Jazz Ensembles 1. Wheeling Jazz Band I High School Jazz Combo Class AA 3. Conant Jazz Combo 2. Prospect Jazz Combo 1. TIE: Fremd Jazz Combo & Naperville North Jazz Combo High School Jazz Combo Class A 3. Champaign Central Combo II 2. Carmel Catholic Jazz Combo 1. Champaign Central Combo I Junior High Ensemble I 3. Old Quarry Jazz Band 2. Cooper Jazz Band I 1. Holmes Jazz Ensemble Junior High Ensemble II 2. Holmes Jazz Band 1. Cooper Jazz Band II Soloist Medals Kevin Branner, Naperville North, Tenor Alex F, Champaign Central, Bass Janelle Finton, Buffalo Grove, Trumpet James Hix, Batavia, Drums Max Hubbard, Champaign Central, Alto John Kim, Fremd, Alto Nicole Koutun, Holmes, Piano Kayla Cutler, Buffalo Grove, Trombone Adam Manaster, Champaign Central Connor Mannebada, Warren Township, Piano Johan Montag, Highland Garret Munz, Mundelein, Alto Andrea Moreno, Wheeling, Alto Eunice Park, Holmes, Piano Anabel Perez-Brennan, Holmes, Drums Jacob Cushman, Fremd Combo, Drums Birch Creek Music Performance Center... read more

Eric Schneider to perform with MYA

Due to unforeseen circumstances, John Wojciechowski is no longer able to perform with CYA at Jazz Fest. Saxophonist Eric Schneider will be performing instead and we are thrilled to welcome him to our Auditorium stage! Meet... read more

2017 NSJF Performance Schedule

The 2017 North Shore Jazz Festival performance schedule is now available. Plan your day around your favorite band performances! Don’t miss our great featured performers: John Wojciechowski and MYA at noon, the 2016 Grand Champions: Champaign Central Jazz Ensemble at 6:10, and Bryan Carter and the Young Swangers featuring Dan Chmielinski immediately after that. This scheduled is subject to change so please be sure to check back a few days prior to the event. See you soon! View Performance... read more

Mark Your Calendars for January 21st!

Mark your calendars for January 21st, 2017 for this incredible event. Jazz Fest’s first performances will begin at 7:50. The venue doors open at 7:30 but the Jazz Café opens at 7:00 AM so be sure to stop there first for a cup of something warm and a tasty treat to start your day. Tickets are available at the entrance to each of our 4 performance venues (cash only please): just $10 for adults, $5 for kids and seniors, or buy a family package (2 adults, 2 kids) for $25. Your ticket purchase will get you into all performance venues throughout the day, including our guest performance at Noon and our evening guest performance around 6:30... read more

North Shore Jazz Fest 2017

The 40th Annual North Shore Jazz Fest date has been announced. Mark your calendars for January 21st, 2017 and join us for North Jazz Fest 2017! read more

And the Winners Are…

Auditorium/Stage   2016 Grand Champion: Champaign Central Jazz Ensemble Last Year’s 2015 Grand Champion- Wheeling Jazz Band  Jazz Fest Artist Stephen Sholty, 2016 Auditorium: H.S. Jazz Ensembles Class AA: 137- Libertyville Jazz Ensemble I 136- Buffalo Grove Jazz Band I Tie: 131- Prospect Jazz Ensemble I & Rolling Meadows Jazz Ensemble I Auditorium: H.S. Jazz Ensembles Class A: 143- Champaign Central Jazz Ensemble 114- Shawano Jazz I 102- Glenbard South Jazz Band I Cafeteria: H.S. Jazz Ensembles II Class AA: Tie: 129- Fremd Jazz Lab Band & Wheeling Jazz Band 2 Libertyville Jazz Ensemble II Oswego Blue Jazz 2 Cafeteria: H.S. Jazz Ensembles II Class A: 138- Champaign Central Stage Band Shawano Jazz II Champaign Central Lab Band Orchestra: H.S. Jazz Combo Class AA: 141- Wheeling Jazz Combo Tie: 139: Warren Township Jazz Combo & Libertyville Jazz Combo 136- Prospect Jazz Combo Orchestra: H.S. Jazz Combo Class A: 145.5- Champaign Central Combo I 139- Marmion Jazz Combo 131- Champaign Central Combo 2 Lyceum: Junior High Ensemble I: 145- Cooper Jazz Band I Tie: 144- Old Quarry Jazz Band & Walter R. Sundling Jazz Band Holmes Jazz Ensemble Lyceum: Junior High Ensemble II: 136- Cooper Jazz Band II 129- Holmes Jazz Band 127- Highland Jazz II Soloist Medals Max Hubbard- Champaign Central- Alto Suchet Kumar- Fremd- Guitar Liam Hurley- Lake Zurich- Vibes Bella Petkus- Old Quarry M.S.- Vocalist JoAnn Montas- Highland I- Trombone Anthony Cruz- Holmes I- Alto Maya Haubrech- Grayslake- Alto Sax Rodrigo Vargos- Parkland- Euphonium Brandon James- Schaumburg- Trombone Glovanni Diaz- Warren- Drummer Naomi- Richards H.S.- Bass Brandon Monsen- Buffalo Grove Alex F.- Sunset Ridge- Bass Wheeling- Soprano Sax... read more