Clark College Jazz Fest to feature local schools

The 55th annual event will take place Jan. 26 to 28

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Clark College will host the 55th annual Jazz Festival next month. Schools from the region will come to compete and participate in music clinics at Clark College. (Contributed photo)

Clark College will host its 55th annual Jazz Festival Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 26 to 28.

The event will feature 60 middle and high school jazz ensembles from throughout Washington and Oregon, including Camas and Washougal schools.

“It’s really inspiring to see the level of playing coming through the middle and high school programs in the Northwest,” said Clark Festival Director Richard Inouye. “Jazz really is one of our American inventions and I’m happy to see that it continues to appeal to young musicians.”

Trophies will be presented to the top three jazz ensembles for middle school and 1A through 4A division high schools. Individual musician awards will also be presented at the end of each division’s preliminary competitions. At the end of Saturday evening, the Dale Beacock Memorial Sweepstakes Award will be presented to one band from the entire festival.

The Clark College Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Festival Director Rich Inouye, will perform at 5 p.m. on Thursday, noon and 8:30 p.m. Friday, and at 12:20 p.m. Saturday.

“A huge component of the success of our festival is that students run it,” said Shelly Williams, the Clark Music Department Program Coordinator. “Over 75 Clark music students volunteer countless hours to set up, tear down and work the festival.”

The event will be held in the Gaiser Center, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. Admission is $5 per day. Clark College students and children younger than 12 will be admitted free.