Community, Live Music, Local, Park Forest, Schools

Prairie State College Presents the 35th Annual Jazz Fest: A Celebration of Musical Excellence.


Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Prairie State College (PSC) announces the 35th Annual Jazz Fest, a spectacular musical event featuring renowned guest artists showcasing exceptional middle and high school talents. The festival promises a captivating experience for jazz enthusiasts and the wider community.

Feature 35th Annual Jazz Fest Concert Details

  • Date & Time: Friday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Venue: Barnes & Noble College Auditorium, PSC Conference Center
  • Guest Artists: Orbert Davis (trumpet), Darius Hampton (saxophone), Valerie Nicholson (piano), Larry Gray (bass), Ernie Adams (drums)
  • Ticket Price: $10 (available at the door)
  • Contact: For more information, call (708) 709-3742

Jazz Fest Highlights

  • Opening Night: The festival starts on Thursday, February 15, featuring 15 middle and high school groups performing for our esteemed guest artists.
  • Student Performers: Exceptional student performers will be selected during the festival to join the guest artists for a special concert on Friday night.

Orbert Davis (Trumpet):

An Emmy Award-winning trumpeter, composer, and educator, Orbert Davis is the co-founder, conductor, and artistic director of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. With a mission-driven career spanning 30 years, Davis has become a true leader in Chicago’s arts and culture community, making positive impacts through arts education and advocacy.

Darius Hampton (Saxophone):

Saxophonist and Northwestern University lecturer Darius Hampton is a musician and educator with a diverse background. He has collaborated with many acclaimed artists and currently serves as the Managing Director of Education and Special Projects at the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

Valerie Nicholson (Piano):

Valerie Nicholson has been a key figure in the Chicago jazz scene. She is a Professor and Coordinator of Music at Prairie State College. Recognized for her contributions to the arts, Nicholson received the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s inaugural “Jazz Alive” Educator’s Award in 2019.

Larry Gray (Bassist):

Bassist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Larry Gray boasts a distinguished career spanning four decades. Gray has made significant contributions to the genre by collaborating with jazz legends, showcasing his talent and versatility.

Ernie Adams (Drums):

A seasoned jazz drummer, Ernie Adams has performed globally with numerous jazz greats. His role as a Drum/Jazz Professor, instructor, and mentor reflects his commitment to educating the next generation of jazz musicians.

Performing Schools: Rich Township High School Fine Arts Campus, Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Tinley Park High School, Huth Middle School, Thornwood High School, Bourbonnais Upper Grade Center, Coolidge Middle School, Southland College Prep High School, Victor J. Andrew High School, Grimmer Middle School, Chicago Christian High School, Michelle Obama School of Technology and the Arts.

Don’t miss this extraordinary celebration of jazz at the Prairie State College Jazz Fest. Join us for an unforgettable evening of musical brilliance and community spirit.


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