PSC’s Annual Jazz Festival Features National Musicians

Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Nationally known jazz musicians such as trumpeter Orbert Davis and drummer Joel Spencer will perform at the Prairie State College (PSC) 21st Annual Jazz Festival.

The concert, which has sold out for five consecutive years, will be held on Friday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m., in the PSC auditorium. The college is located at 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights. General admission is $12; students and senior citizens are $8. Tickets are available in advance at the PSC Business Office. Hours for the Business Office are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets also are available at the door.

The other performers include Eric Hochberg on bass, Doug Stone on tenor saxophone, and Valerie Nicholson on piano.

“This year is special because, in addition to jazz fest veterans Orbert Davis and Joel Spencer, we have two new additions, Eric Hochberg and Doug Stone,” said Nicholson, PSC professor of music who also coordinates the festival. “The audience can expect something different but equally as great as in past years.”

Davis is co-founder, artistic director, and conductor of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. He has recorded over 3,000 television and radio commercials as well as projects for many notable artists including Nancy Wilson, Ramsey Lewis, Charles Earland, and Kurt Elling. Davis was a featured performer for the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s “Tribute to Louis Armstrong: Legacy for the Millennium.” He also was a featured soloist at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 1996, 2001, and 2004. Other projects include arrangements and on-camera performances in the films A League of Their Own, The Babe, and Road to Perdition.

Stone has been playing professionally since age 10. He has written several pieces for big band and his works have been featured with the Central Illinois Jazz Train Orchestra and vocalist Kathy Kosins. Stone has recorded with numerous groups including Jazztet, Scantily Clad, Birch Creek Academy Big Band, the Ji Young Lee Quartet, and Panoramic.

Spencer has been a professional musician and music educator for more than 27 years. He has performed with a number of internationally known jazz artists. He also records commercial radio and TV ads and produces movie soundtrack recordings including a League of Their Own, Hoodlum, and Unconditional Love.

Hochberg has lent his bass work to a variety of projects across the realms of jazz, folk, rock, and blues. He has performed and/or recorded with musicians such as Pharoah Sanders, Bobby McFerrin, Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson, and Von Freeman. He also has toured nationally and internationally with a variety of other musicians and played at dozens of jazz festivals worldwide. Hochberg also is an accomplished producer and composer.


Trumpet player Orbert Davis will perform at PSC’s 21st Annual Jazz Festival. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Nicholson has been faculty at PSC 1986. She teaches music theory and music appreciation courses, directs the college’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and serves as the coordinator of performing arts. She performs regularly with the Burgess Gardner Big Band and occasionally with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. Nicholson is a Ph.D. candidate in music theory at the University of Chicago

The PSC Jazz Festival also brings together local junior high and high school jazz musicians for two days of instrumental clinics led by the featured artists. The clinicians offer the students their expertise and instruction in technique and performance.

For more information on the Jazz Festival, call PSC at (708) 709-3500.

PSC Speech Team Captures More Awards

Two Prairie State College students garnered tournament champion wins at the College of DuPage speech team competition.

Jimmie Johnson, of Matteson, was tournament champion in Novice Impromptu, and Jovan Gudger, of University Park, was tournament champion in Program Oral Interpretation.

PSC placed fifth overall among all colleges and universities and second among community colleges.

Highlights of the individual competitions include Thaddeus Carr, of Olympia Fields, first place in Novice Prose Interpretation; Terrance Clanton, of Park Forest, first place in Novice Persuasive Speaking; Emily Allen, of Chicago Heights, third place in Speech to Entertain; Kate Mathews, of Lynwood, third place in Novice Prose Interpretation; Etta Oben, of Matteson, fifth place in Novice Dramatic Interpretation; Jimmie Johnson, fifth place in Persuasive Speaking; Gina Bufano, of Dyer, Ind., sixth place in Dramatic Interpretation; and Terrance Clanton, sixth place in Program Oral Interpretation.

The team is coached by professors of communication Ed Schwarz, Elighie Wilson, and David Naze.

“We’re very proud of how our students have continued to work this season,” said Naze. “At the halfway point, we realize that we have a great depth of talented performers. We’re looking forward to getting ready for the postseason.”

The team’s next tournament is at Highland Community College.

PSC Offers Health Fair on February 11

Prairie State College is hosting a health fair on Wednesday, February 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. , in the atrium of Prairie State College, 202 S. Halsted St. , Chicago Heights . The health fair is free and open to the public. Attendees can visit informational booths and take advantage of health screenings such as blood pressure, diabetes, and HIV. The fair is co-sponsored by Ingalls Health System and Aunt Martha’s Healthcare Network. For more information call, (708) 709-7897.