Professional Artists

Evening Performance

The North Shore Jazz Fest is proud to welcome Doug Beach and the Elmhurst College Jazz Band as the featured performer.   Featuring Byron Stripling as guest soloist.

Under the direction of Mr. Beach, the band has earned worldwide acclaim as an outstanding ensemble. In June of 2014, the Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards named the Elmhurst College Jazz Band the Undergraduate College winner in the large jazz ensemble category.

The band has performed in Greece, Romania, England, Scotland, Ireland, Croatia, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Italy, Indonesia, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Spain, Serbia, Bulgaria, Canada and the Bahamas. It has twice toured Europe at the invitation of the U.S. State Department. It has appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Northsea Jazz Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, the Vienne Jazz Festival, Bohemia Jazz and others. In 1997, the band was the only college jazz ensemble invited to perform at the Jak Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Closer to home, the Elmhurst College Jazz Band has performed at festivals across the United States, and has received outstanding ratings from jazz greats Clark Terry, Lee Konitz, Rob McConnell, Nicholas Payton, Randy Brecker and Bob Brookmeyer among others. In 2001, the band accompanied Dee Dee Bridgewater on the main stage at the Chicago Jazz Festival in Grant Park.

The band regularly appears with the most respected musicians in professional jazz.  Recent guest artists have included Bobby Shew, the Yellowjackets, Wayne Bergeron, Patti Austin, John Pizzarelli, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Denis DiBlasio, Gary Smulyan, Tom Scott, Bill Watrous, and Patrick Williams. In October of 2017, the band was invited by the legendary Doc Severinsen to accompany him on a concert tour of Ohio.

Byron Stripling

Stripling earned his stripes as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Thad Jones and Frank Foster. He has also played and recorded extensively with the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, and Buck Clayton in addition to The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and The GRP All Star Big Band.

Television viewers have enjoyed his work as soloist on the worldwide telecast of The Grammy Awards. Millions have heard his trumpet and voice on television commercials, TV theme songs including “20/20,” CNN, and soundtracks of favorite movies.

Mid-Day Performance

The MYAC Merit Combo is an elite ensemble of Midwest Young Artists Conservatory’s exceptional Jazz Program: a comprehensive youth music program with opportunities for any student who wishes to deepen their knowledge of America’s great art form.  Directed by Drew Hansen, Merit Combo students have worked with such jazz luminaries as Matt Wilson and John Clayton, among others.

Jazz students at MYAC perform in premier jazz clubs and concert venues throughout the Chicagoland area. Through participation in big bands, combos and improvisation classes, students master jazz styles and core musicianship skills. More information regarding auditions for the MYAC Jazz Program and all MYAC programs is available at mya.org.