The University of New Orleans Jazz Guitar Ensemble will perform at this year's Jazz Fest for only the second time in its history. The group was established in 1989 by master jazz guitarist, composer and Astral Project member Steve Masakowski, then an adjunct professor at the university. Masakowski says he started the ensemble in an effort to provide local jazz guitar students the opportunity to perform music specifically arranged for them.
"The festival is very good at featuring groups from the various local music education programs," Masakowski says. "UNO groups have always been invited to play each year of Jazz Fest, so this year we decided to feature the Jazz Guitar Ensemble. Jazz Fest is the one time of the year when the whole world focuses on New Orleans music — especially for the younger musicians that rarely get a chance to show what they can do."
The ensemble's performance at this year's Jazz Fest will feature trumpet soloist Ashlin Parker. "Ashlin is a very gifted trumpet player and graduate student," Masakowski adds.
In the 20 years since its inception, the growing ensemble has performed in many community outreach concerts and jazz guitar workshops in local schools.
University of New Orleans Jazz Guitar Ensemble
Fri., April 24, 11:20 a.m.-12:10 p.m.