Western Carolina University’s 14th annual jazz festival will feature an afternoon and evening of music, special guests and celebration from 1 to 10 p.m. on campus Saturday, April 23.

All classes, rehearsals and performances will be open to the public free of charge and held in the recital hall of the Coulter Building.

Special guests for WCU Jazz Festival 2016 are two renowned jazz musicians, alto saxophonist Jim Snidero and pianist Dan Haerle, performing individually and together, and with faculty and students.

Haerle is a regents professor emeritus of jazz studies at the University of North Texas, where he taught 35 years. He has performed with jazz legends Pat Metheny, Clark Terry and Freddie Hubbard, among others, and recorded numerous albums. He currently serves as the artistic director of the Dallas Jazz Piano Society.

Dan Haerle

Dan Haerle

Snidero is an adjunct music instructor at New School University and formerly was a visiting professor at both Indiana and Princeton universities. He has recorded numerous albums and his “Blue Afternoon” is included in “The History of Jazz in 1001 of the Best Recordings.” A onetime member of the famed One O’clock Band, he also was a sideman with the Mingus Big Band and Frank Sinatra. Snidero is an active clinician for the Conn-Selmer Company.

Pavel Wlosok, WCU associate professor of jazz and organizer of the campus festival, calls the event a celebration of a “true American art form.” Wlosok, a Czech-born pianist, composer, arranger and educator, also will perform during the evening.

The tentative festival itinerary:

  • 1 p.m. Haerle jazz masterclass on improvisation, harmony and jazz theory.
  • 2 p.m. Snidero masterclass with WCU Jazz Ensemble saxophone students.
  • 3:15 p.m.  WCU Jazz Ensemble with Snidero dress rehearsal and sound check.
  • 4:30 p.m. Featured artists sound check and duet rehearsals.
  • 7:30 p.m.  Snidero with the WCU Jazz Ensemble, then with WCU Jazz Combo.
  • 8:30 p.m. Snidero and Haerle duet, followed by Wlosok and Snidero duet. If time allows, a Haerle and Wlosok duet.
  • 9:45 p.m. Reception with guest artists, with location to be announced.

For more information, contact Wlosok at 828-227-3261 or pwlosok@wcu.edu.