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High school to host annual Jazz Fest

March 20, 2014
The Town Crier

The 14th annual BHS Jazz Fest will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Boardman Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are $3 for adults and $2 for students and free for senior citizens and children. Tickets are available at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The event will feature BHS Jazz Ensembles 1, 2, and 3 along with special guest group The John Reese Project featuring Janet Opritza-Davis.

The evening begins with a performance by BHS Jazz Ensemble 3. The group rehearses each Monday and Tuesday after school under the direction of Thomas M. Ruggieri. Jazz 3 will perform ''Put It Where You Want It,'' ''Second Line,'' and ''The Madison Time.''

BHS Jazz Ensemble 2 will take the stage with its unique blend of jazz and blues with vocals. Selections will include

''What'd I Say'' by Ray Charles, Steve Miller Band's ''Fly Like an Eagle,'' and ''The Swingin' Shepherd Blues,'' and ''Dani California'' by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Local jazz artists The John Reese Project, featuring Ruggieri as drummer. Trombonist/vocalist John Reese and saxophonist Tim Harker have been past guest soloists with Jazz Ensemble 1. Pianist Jim Gerlach returns along with bassist Wilbur Krebbs who will be appearing for the first time. Also joining the John Reese Project is vocalist Janet Opritza-Davis.

The headliner of the concert is the BHS Jazz Ensemble 1. Selections will include Count Basie's ''Corner Pocket,'' Ray Charles' ''Let the Good Times Roll,'' Bob Mintzer's ''Slo-Funk,'' ''Fanfare for the Common Man'' as played by the Woody Herman Orchestra, and more. Members of the John Reese Project will join Jazz Ensemble 1 to play solos. Janet Opritza Davis also will be featured with the big band on Ella Fitzgerald's version of ''Time After Time'' and on ''Almost Like Being In Love.''

Jazz Ensemble 1 recently returned from Columbus where it performed at the OMEA Professional Development Conference. For the second time in three years, BHS Jazz Ensemble 1 was the only high school jazz ensemble chosen to perform.

Upcoming events include Jazz 1 at the Packard JAM Fest April 3, Jazz 2 performing at the Mahoning County Children Services Pinwheels for Prevention event April 9, Jazz 1 and Jazz 2 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame May 9, Jazz 1 at the Jewish Community Center May 22, and all three Jazz Ensembles at the Spring Jazz Concert in the BHS Cafeteria May 30.

The Summer Jazz Ensemble will perform June 20 at the St. Charles Festival, July 6 at Firestone Park, and a date to be announced at FireWater in Sharon, Pa. Check the Boardman Band Website at for complete information.

Tickets for the March 25 BHS Jazz Fest are available at the door at $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for students. As always, senior citizens and children will be admitted free of charge. Doors open at 6:30 PM.



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