Alcorn’s 41st Jazz Festival scheduled to begin this week

An annual event that keeps music lovers entertained while preparing the next generation of maestros for stardom kicks off at Alcorn State University this week.

The 41st Alcorn State University Jazz Festival kicks off Thursday, November 3, at the Joyce Bolden Fine Arts Building Little Theater on the Lorman campus. The event starts with an educational workshop at 1 p.m., followed by an Astral Project concert at 6 p.m. New Orleans based jazz band Astral Project will perform at the Festival’s kick-off events.

The event continues in downtown Vicksburg Friday, Nov. 4, at Crawford Square (Gordon’s Alley), 1398 Washington Street, with an outdoor Astral Project concert from 4:30 – 6 p.m. The events are open to the public and free of charge.

The finale takes place Saturday, April 15, 2023, with an all-day event at the Vicksburg Convention Center. The event will feature morning and afternoon performances by high school, college, and university jazz ensembles from around the country. An educational workshop will be held at 4 p.m. followed by evening performances from another group of headlining jazz legends. The finale is also open to the public and free of charge.

Astral Project is a New Orleans jazz quartet founded by saxophonist Tony Dagradi in 1978 and includes drummer Johnny Vidacovich, bassist James Singleton, and guitarist Steve Masakkowski. The band has performed on several national and international tours and has received several Big Easy Entertainment Awards.

Dr. David Miller, director of the Jazz Festival and professor, spoke highly of the band and looks forward to them bringing their sound to Alcorn’s event.

“Astral Project has entertained and educated audiences for decades and is unique in the jazz realm in having a steady personnel lineup for so many years,” said Miller. “These highly talented musicians are well versed in many genres of music, blending modern jazz, funk, rock, and world music.”