Public invited to free 11th annual Ventura Music Festival Student Jazz Competition

2016 winner Blake Kasting performing with other finalists .

Judges will award cash prizes to three of Southern California’s best high school jazz musicians as the Ventura Music Festival (VMF) kicks off the new year with free competition performances open to the public on Sunday, January 22, from 2 to 3:30 pm, in the Pavilion of the Pierpont Inn, 550 Sanjon Road. No RSVP is required for audience members to attend this 11th annual competition for students.

Renowned musicians and judges Bevan Manson, Eddie Arkin and Steve Marsh will select up to a half dozen musicians to compete in performance after reviewing mp3 or m4a files that were submitted online by Southern California high school students featuring their improvised solos of original or classic jazz or blues tunes.

The students selected to perform for the judges and audience will be backed up by Bevan Manson on piano, Tom Etchart on bass and Charles Levin on drums.

Besides cash prizes, the winners will receive numerous opportunities to perform for the public throughout the year, including on February 21st when the VMF announces the 2017 July Festival program at City Hall. Student Jazz winners will also perform during the Rising Stars Concert in May and other events to be announced.

Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta will announce the 23rd Ventura Music Festival artist line-up in a special briefing at Ventura City Hall on Tuesday, February 21, from 5 to 6 pm. The public is warmly invited to attend this free admission event with refreshments and entertainment following the presentation. The nine-concert festival will take place on the weekends of July 14-16 and July 21-24.

Full Festival details will be posted on the VMF website after February 21: The website posts all VMF events as calendared, including a Cabaret evening benefit on April 21 and free Rising Stars Concert in May and Music in the Schools programs for children in 3rd through 5th grades.

The Ventura Music Festival, founded in 1994, is one of Ventura County’s signature arts events, presenting world-class classical, jazz and contemporary performing artists to Southern California audiences throughout the year in one of our State’s most historic beach towns.

VMF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.





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