Caprock Festival to Feature International Jazz Stars & an Intermission Birthday Bash for 96-year-old, Saxman, JT Braxton

Caprock Festival to Feature International Jazz Stars & an Intermission Birthday Bash for 96-year-old, Saxman, JT Braxton

By Floyd Miller

 

 

 

The first-ever Caprock Jazz Festival opens with a bang on Saturday, September 19th on the stage of the TTU Allen Theater at 3:00 PM. The three-day festival on the campus of Texas Tech will open with a much-anticipated performance by the TTU Alumni Jazz All Stars; an ensemble comprised of former TTU Jazz Band alumni turned professionals, and Joy Harris, Quamon Fowler and Jerry Serrano. The alumni band was assembled expressly for the Caprock Jazz Festival event. At the close of the performance by the Jazz Band All Stars, festival organizers will introduce three young up and coming performers who will present a one-minute piece in hopes of earning {{more}} a $2,000 Braxton Jazz Scholarship to Texas Tech University. Judges will tabulate young performers scores during the festival’s 4:30 to 6:00 PM break for supper.Saturday’s supper at the festival is a “dinner-on-you-own” affair. However, for those who choose to have in the Student Union may visit the Food Court, where they will have the opportunity to dine while being serenaded by strolling jazz musicians. Following the dinner the festival returns to the Allen Theater stage with a performance by the Helen Sung Quintet. Helen Sung is an international pianist/composer and the winner of the 2007 Kennedy Center Jazz Piano Competition. Sung has five albums to her credit and has performed with the likes of Herbie Hancock, T.S. Monk and with the Clark Terry and the Titans of Jazz Band. Following the performance by Sung’s Quintet, the festival will break for an intermission. During the intermission break, refreshments and birthday cake will be served at a special birth bash held in honor of 96-year old sax-man, JT Braxton. Braxton mentored thousands of music students during his seventy-plus years of playing violin and saxophone. Selected performers will join with attendees in singing Happy Birthday to the elder Braxton, father of international jazz star, Tom Braxton. Following the intermission, the Tom Braxton and his band will come to the stage. Tom is a native of Lubbock and a hometown favorite. He is a protégé of his father JT and has eight albums to his credit. Tom has released eight albums and has performed internationally alongside some of the biggest names in the entertainment world. Following Braxton performance, Rick Braun will come to the state. Braun is also an international performer and a two-time winner of the Gavin Report’s Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year Award. Braun has nineteen albums to his credit. His Can You Feel it release peaked at the top of the 2014 Billboard Jazz Album Chart. During his incredible career Braun has had three singles to reach the top of the Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart. Next on festival stage is Grammy Award winning saxophonist, Kirk Whalum. Whalum, a native of Memphis, Tennessee has twenty-five albums to his credit and has been nominated for a total of twelve Grammy Awards. Kirk also worked on numerous film scores including Prince of Tides, the Bodyguard and Boyz in the Hood. Whalum and his amazing friends provide the grand finale to the first night of the festival. Saturday only festival tickets are $35 each.Sunday morning, the festival’s second day will open from 8:00 until 9:30 with the Pancakes and Praise Breakfast at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. Breakfast attendees will dine on Top Tier Catering’s gourmet pancakes and all the trimmings, as performing artists share their spiritual testimonies in words and song. Pancakes and Praise Breakfast tickets are $20 each; with corporate tables and VIP festival also passes available. Two-day festival passes are $55 each.The Hance Chapel at Texas Tech will offer the festival’s Sunday worship service. Under the direction of TTU administrator and mister Cory Powell, the service will also feature the TTU Visions of Light Choir as well as gospel numbers by selected jazz artists from the festival’s line up. The church service is a free event. Monday morning’s festival event is the Braxton Jazz Clinic, also free event. However, the clinic / workshop is opened are opened to music students only. Area middle school and high school musicians are also invited to attend workshop led by Tom Braxton, Quamon Fowler and Joy Harris. Proceeds from the 2015 Caprock Jazz Festival will benefit the Caviel Museum of African American History 928-4268. Tickets maybe purchased online or at all Select-a-Seat locations. For more information visit caprockjazzfestival.com or call Select a Seat at 770-2000.