Arts, Community, Live Music, Park Forest

Prairie State College to Host 32nd Annual Jazz Fest

jazz fest, Prairie State College, jazz artists
Prairie State College invites you to Jazz Fest 2020. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Some of the nation’s top jazz artists will bring their talents to the classroom and the stage during the 32nd Annual Jazz Fest at Prairie State College (PSC) Feb. 20 through 22. The three-day festival begins with clinics for local junior high and high school jazz musicians, led by the artists, and culminates in a concert featuring the jazz masters at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 21, in the Barnes & Noble College Auditorium on the PSC main campus.

Featured performers include Chicago trumpeter Orbert Davis, drummer Ernie Adams, percussionist Rubén P. Alvarez, bassist Larry Gray, saxophonist Ed Petersen, and PSC’s Professor of Music Valerie Nicholson on piano. Select students from the daytime clinics also are invited to perform with the guest artists during the evening concert.

“The jazz fest masters are not only some of the best musicians I’ve performed with, they also are fantastic instructors and mentors for the students,” said Nicholson, who is the founder and coordinator of the annual festival. “The students who have had the opportunity to work with them throughout the years rave about their experience. It impacts their lives, and several have gone on to become fine music educators and performers themselves as a result.”

To learn more about the jazz fest masters, visit

“We are fortunate to have these world-class musicians perform on our stage each and every year,” said PSC President Dr. Terri L. Winfree. “This is such a fantastic opportunity for residents of Chicagoland to experience the talents of these excellent performers in our auditorium’s comfortable atmosphere.”

As part of the Friday evening festivities, the college also will present the Howard Luckey Excellence in Jazz Leadership Award. The award goes to someone who has provided extensive and consistent support of jazz in the region through teaching, performing, or organizing in a spirit of humility and community. The award was established in memory of Howard Luckey, a PSC social science faculty member who volunteered to assist with the festival for years until he passed away in 2010. This year’s honoree is Chuck Sabey, cultural arts supervisor for the Village of Park Forest.

Ticket prices for the concert are $15 for general admission. Student and senior citizen tickets are $10 each. Tickets are available in advance online at, or on campus at the Business Office in room 1110, in the PSC Foundation Office in room 2266, and in the Conference Center on the main campus. Tickets also can be purchased at the door on the evening of the concert. A $30 VIP and Concert Package is available and can be purchased in advance or on the night of the event. VIP guests will enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, refreshments and entertainment, as well as the opportunity to meet the jazz fest guest artist. The reception is sponsored by the PSC Foundation. For more information, email [email protected].

Sponsorship opportunities are available for this year’s concert event. For more information or to purchase tickets or a sponsorship package, visit, or contact the PSC Foundation Office at (708) 709-3631 or [email protected].

This is news from Prairie State College.