The 2012 Brubeck Festival Poster

This year's Brubeck Festival will focus on how communities of jazz fans and musicians are formed and kept cohesive on local, national and international levels. This year's festival features Panamanian artists Danilo Perez and includes many world-renowned jazz musicians. Above, the cover of the Brubeck Festival Program is shown.

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Events

11th Annual Brubeck Festival to Explore Communities

Featured artists include famed Panamanian Pianist Danilo Pérez
by Patrick GiblinFeb 29, 2012

Dave Brubeck created community both on and off-stage from the moment he began performing. Trios, quartets, octets and even orchestras and choirs became vehicles for Dave's music. Off-stage he and Iola worked to bring groups out of the clubs, onto college campuses and into concert halls. As momentum grew so did the community until Brubeck sounds were heard the world over.

This year's annual Brubeck Festival, themed "Building Communities," features select performers who have created and sustained a culture of jazz music in the communities where they live, much like Brubeck did. Listening to these wonderful artists perform and speak it is easy to see what keeps the fans and the musicians coming back for more.

Danilo Perez TrioKeynote performers at the nationally recognized Brubeck Institute festival include Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez and his trio, whose Latin-inspired style has been compared to famed American trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie; St. Louis native Willie Akins and his quartet; singer Debbie Duncan; drummer Lewis Nash; Actor/Singer Yolande Bavan; and archivist Ricky Riccardi.

The Festival, which is organized by the Brubeck Institute, runs from March 28 through March 31 and will be held at several venues, including on the Stockton Campus of University of the Pacific, The Take Five jazz club at Valley Brew and at several restaurants along Stockton's Miracle Mile.

"All of the musicians who are participating this year are core members of their jazz communities in the cities and countries where they play," said Simon Rowe, director of the Brubeck Institute. "Appropriately, we are taking the festival into the heart of the Stockton community by holding performances on the Miracle Mile."

The Festival will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 with two shows by Lewis Nash, an Arizona native, and other special guests at the Valley Brewing Company. Nash is an American drummer who has one of the largest discographies in jazz history. He has played on more than 400 records, including with Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Art Farmer, Willie Nelson, Natalie Cole, Bette Midler and Linda Ronstadt. He was named "Jazz's Most Valuable Player" by "Modern Drummer" Magazine in 2009.

Lewis NashNash will perform a second time with the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in the Faye Spanos Concert Hall. The Quintet has been named the "best college combo" by Downbeat Magazine five times in the past eight years. The Pacific Jazz Ensemble also will perform with Nash during that show.

At 10 p.m. Thursday, the Willie Akins Quartet, with special guest Debbie Duncan, will perform two shows at the Valley Brewing Company. Akins, a world-renowned saxophone player, is a staple in the St. Louis music scene and performed regularly at Spruill's Nightclub in that city. He has been performing since 1957 and in St. Louis continuously since 1968. Duncan was once called the "best-kept musical secret" of the Midwest by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. As a singer, she often can be heard performing in Minneapolis, though her roots draw from her upbringing in the Detroit jazz scene. She studied classical voice for 14 years and has recorded back-up vocals for Mitch Ryder and Bob Seger.

Friday's Festival will kick-off with a 4 p.m. lecture about the "The Real Ambassadors," a musical written by Dave and Iola Brubeck and Louis Armstrong, and recorded 50 years ago.

Willie AkinsThe musical addressed the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, the music business, America's status during the Cold War, and a number of other themes. It was set in the fictional nation of Talgalla. The lecture will be presented by Professor Keith Hatschek and will feature singer and actress Yolande Bavan, one of the original musicians featured on the album, and Ricky Riccardi, a jazz historian who wrote the book "The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong."

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Sacramento Jazz Orchestra will perform in the Faye Spanos Concert Hall. The Sacramento Jazz Orchestra is a non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to creating and presenting authentic and engaging Jazz experiences for audiences far and wide. Founded in 2009, SJO's goal is to strengthen the awareness of jazz through regional tours, public and private performances, and educational programming and outreach events. They will be joined by Akins and Duncan during the show.

At 10 p.m. that evening, the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet will perform two shows at the Valley Brewing Company.

The Festival will wrap up Saturday with several events. At 4pm, Pérez will lead a panel discussion on jazz and community. That will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. concert by Pérez in the Faye Spanos Concert Hall. Pérez has won three Grammys during his career and has been a band leader since the early '90s. Five of his albums have been named as "best album of the year" by numerous publications, including the New York Times and Billboard. He also was named "pianist of the year" in 2002 by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Debbie DuncanThe Festival will finish with two shows by Akins at the  "Take Five Jazz Club" in the Valley Brewing Company.

The Festival is organized through the Brubeck Institute. The Brubeck Institute was established by the University of the Pacific in 2000 to honor its distinguished alumni, Dave and Iola Brubeck. The mission of the Institute is to build on Dave Brubeck's legacy and his lifelong dedication to music, creativity, education, and the advancement of important social issues including civil rights, environmental concerns, international relations, and social justice. Besides the Festival, the Institute oversees the Brubeck Collection of papers collected by the Brubecks during their long career, the Fellowship program, the Summer Jazz Colony for gifted high school students, and an outreach program that champions the expansion of jazz and other music in our culture.

All tickets are $10 per show, $5 for students. Tickets will be sold through the Pacific Box Office, during Happy Hour on the Miracle Mile on March 15 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and at the Faye Spanos Concert Hall just before each concert. Passes for the entire festival will be available at $45. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.brubeckinstitute.org.

Schedule

Every evening Wednesday through Saturday
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Jazz Happy Hour
Student Performers at The Ave., Centrale, CoCo Ro, and Whirlow's

Wednesday, March 28th
7:30 pm (2 shows)

"Take 5" Jazz Club (Valley Brewing Company)
Drummer Lewis Nash and guests
Tickets available at the door

Thursday, March 29th
7:30pm

Faye Spanos Concert Hall
Pacific Jazz Ensemble & the 2012 BIJQ (Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet) featuring Lewis Nash 

10pm (2 shows)
"Take 5" Jazz Club (Valley Brewing Company) 
Willie Akins quartet featuring Debbie Duncan
Tickets available at the door

Friday, March 30th
4pm (Free)

Library Community Room (Pacific Campus)
Interview "Blow Your Horn & Set Man Free" Jazz as Social Criticism in The Real Ambassadors Featuring Yolande Bavan, Ricky Riccardi and Keith Hatschek

7:30pm
Faye Spanos Concert Hall
Sacramento Jazz Orchestra & the Willie Akins Quartet featuring Debbie Duncan

10pm (2 shows)
"Take 5" Jazz Club (Valley Brewing Company) 
2011-2012 BIJQ
Tickets available at the door

Saturday, March 31st
4pm (Free)

Faye Spanos Concert Hall
Panel discussion with Danilo Perez

7:30pm
Faye Spanos Concert Hall
Danilo Perez Trio

10pm (2 shows)
"Take 5" Jazz Club (Valley Brewing Company)  
Willie Akins Quartet
Tickets available at the door

All tickets are $10 per show ($5 Students)
General admission for Faye Spanos Concert Hall Tickets

Passes for the entire festival will be available at $45 (200 total) at the Pacific box office and at Happy Hour on the Miracle Mile.