The Eau Claire Jazz Festival returns

A festival to appreciate and learn more about jazz music on Friday and Saturday



The Jazz Crawl at a previous year’s Eau Claire Jazz Festival.

Join UW-Eau Claire jazz students, professional jazz musicians and jazz enthusiasts for the Eau Claire Jazz Festival on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23.

Patrick Hull, president of Eau Claire Jazz Inc., said the Eau Claire Jazz Festival is one of the non-profit organization’s community events.

“Our work continues year-round providing valuable real-world experiences for our dedicated student interns,” Hull said. “Providing scholarships for UWEC students and building key relationships with business leaders, sponsors, musical venues and community organizations.”

Hull said the organization has a unique partnership with UW-Eau Claire, allowing them to invest in community, education and the arts.Eau Claire Jazz Inc. hires student interns to help plan and run the festival, including fourth-year organizational communication student Anna Loughridge and third-year music education student Kate Rosenberger.

Loughridge said interning as a co-festival director for the festival and helping run the team of interns, is the perfect way for her to gain experience in fine arts administration, which she plans on pursuing after graduation.

As the logistics managing intern, Rosenberger said she built communication, organizational and time management skills and relationships with band directors that will be useful for her in the future as a music educator.

The festival consists of a jazz crawl, concert series with guest jazz musicians, student sessions and master classes, according to Eau Claire Jazz Inc.

On Friday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., the jazz crawl will take over Barstow Street, according to Eau Claire Jazz Inc.

“The jazz crawl is one of the signature events of the festival, bringing thousands of jazz enthusiasts to downtown Eau Claire to catch any number of great musical acts that fill so many historic downtown businesses,” Hull said.

Robert Baca, UW-Eau Claire jazz studies and trumpet professor and Eau Claire Jazz Festival artistic director, started the jazz crawl in 2013 as an homage to the jazz mecca of New York’s Historic 52nd Street, according to Eau Claire Jazz Inc.

Hull said this year’s jazz crawl has 17 musical venues and an outdoor stage in Haymarket Plaza to showcase student and professional jazz musicians.

Students from UW-Eau Claire’s Jazz Ensemble I will be performing with vocalist Diane Schuur and saxophonist Donny McCaslin during the concert series at 7:30 p.m on Friday and Saturday at Pablo Center at the Confluence, according to Eau Claire Jazz Inc.

In addition to being a student intern, Rosenberger said she also plays trumpet in Jazz Ensemble I and is excited to play with Schuur and McCaslin.

“It is always inspirational to work with guest artists and be able to see how they interact with the band and with us as students,” Rosenberger said.

During the student sessions, nationally-known music educators are brought in to adjudicate bands from local schools, according to Eau Claire Jazz Inc.

Schools have the opportunity to win free instruments from Schmitt Music and Morgan Music and the winners will be announced during the awards ceremony before the concert series, according to Eau Claire Jazz Inc.

Schuur, McCaslin and other visiting jazz musicians will be teaching master classes, covering topics such as a musician’s guide to freelancing, how to play your instrument at a high level and how to efficiently run a sectional, according to Eau Claire Jazz Inc.

“The Eau Claire Jazz Festival is an event that students and community members will not want to miss,” Rosenberger said. “It will be two days full of great masterclasses, great music and fun.”

More information can be found on Eau Claire Jazz Festival’s website.

Kasper can be reached at [email protected]