Jazz Festival

Friends University’s 25th Annual Friends University Jazz Festival runs February 16 and 17, 2018. Below are the ticketed events, a full schedule of events and a poster.

Concerts | Brochure | Schedule | Bios

Jazz Vocal Concert Featuring Carmen Bradford

Feb. 16, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Also including:
Friends University JVE
The Standard Vocal Jazz Ensemble (KC Comm. College)
University of North Texas 3 o’clock Lab Band
Riney Fine Arts Center and Sebits Fine Arts Addition, Sebits Auditorium
$15 adults; $12 seniors; $12 students

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Headliner Concert: Featuring the Jazz Festival All-Stars

Featuring: Bobby Watson, Saxophone | Matt Wilson, drums | Jerry Hahn, guitar | Nathan Hittle, piano | Lee Rucker, trumpet | Glenn Holmes, bass

Feb. 17, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Riney Fine Arts Center and Sebits Fine Arts Addition, Sebits Auditorium
$15 adults; $12 seniors; $12 students

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All other daytime events are free and open to the public.


Jazz Festival 2018

Full Schedule of Events

TimeSebits AuditoriumTimeRoom E-3Room C-6
8:00-8:45 a.m.Goddard HS Jazz Ensemble I8:15-9:00 a.m.Andover Central HSMaize MS (7th and 8th)
8:45-9:30 a.m.Augusta HS9:00-9:45 a.m.Southeast HS (#2)Prairie Hills MS (Buhler)
9:30-10:15 a.m.Eisenhower HS
9:45-10:30 a.m.Andover Central JVWinfield HS
10:15-11:00 a.m.Great Bend HS10:30-11:15 a.m.Sterling HS (#1)Andover Central MS
11:00-11:45 a.m.Southeast HS (#1)11:15 a.m.-NoonGoddard HS Jazz Ensemble IISterling HS (#2)
Noon – 1 p.m.Concert by Friends University Jazz Ensembles I and II
1:00-1:45 p.m.Circle HS (Towanda)1:00-1:45 p.m.Wichita Trinity HSMaize MS #2
1:45-2:30 p.m.Maize HS1:45-2:30 p.m.Wichita East HSImprovisation Clinic with Jason Whitmore and Andre Reyes
2:30-3:15 p.m.Buhler HS2:30-3:15 p.m.Derby HS
3:00-4:30 p.m.Jazz Festival All Stars Rehearsal
3:30-4:00 p.m.Carmen Bradford rehearsal with Jazz Standard
4:00-5:30 p.m.Carmen Bradford rehearsal with UNT 3 O'Clock Lab Band
6:15-7:00 p.m.Soundcheck for JVE and Jazz Standard in Sebits Auditorium
7:30 p.m.Concert with JVE, Jazz Standard, Carmen Brandford and the UNT 3 O’Clock Lab Band

TimeSebits AuditoriumTimeRoom E-3TimeRoom C-6
10:00-10:45 a.m.Nickerson HS10:30-11:15 a.m.Friends University Monday Combo
10:45-11:30 a.m.Mulvane HS11:00-11:45 a.m.Clearwater HS11:15 a.m. - NoonColeman MS
11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.Johnson County Community College11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Hutchinson Community College
Jazz Lab Band
12:30-1:15 p.m.Concert by Friends University Jazz Ensembles I and II
1:30-2:15 p.m.Hutchinson Community College Concert Jazz Band (#1)1:30-2:15 p.m.Improvisation Clinic with Jason Whitmore 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.Friends University
Wednesday Combo
2:15-3:00 p.m.Wichita Collegiate HS2:15-3:00 p.m.Wichita Heights HS2:15-3:00 p.m.Friends University
3:15-4:15 p.m.Friends University Jazz Ensemble I rehearsal with Bobby Watson, Nathan Hittle and Matt Wilson3:00-3:45 p.m.Dodge City HS
4:15 p.m.Rehearsal and sound check for Jazz Festival All-Stars
7:30 p.m.Concert with Friends University Jazz Ensemble I and the Jazz Festival All-Stars
(Bobby Watson, Matt Wilson, Jerry Hahn, Glenn Holmes, Lee Rucker and Nathan Hittle)


Friday night concert

Carmen Bradford, vocalist

William “Count” Basie always had great singers on his band. The last singer that Basie personally asked to join that rarified lineage was Carmen Bradford. After years of touring with the Basie Orchestra (which still does at times), Carmen has established herself as one of the great interpreters of the Great American Songbook.

Carmen has performed and/or recorded with: Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Wycliff Gordon, Kurt Elling, Johnny Mathis, Patti Austin, Nancy Wilson, Frank Sinatra, The Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Dallas Symphony, The Vancouver Philharmonic, and many more!

Carmen has two collaborations on Grammy Award winning albums, teaming with George Benson on “How Do You Keep The Music Playing”, and “The Benny Carter Songbook”.

At present, Carmen is performing with symphony orchestras around the world, paying tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald in her new show “A Century of Ella” with Conductor Jeff Tyzik.

This is Carmen’s third appearance at Friends University.

The Standard Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by John Stafford
This wonderful group from Kansas City Community College, has won many awards and accolades over the past few years. We are thrilled to have them join our night of vocal jazz this year!

The University of North Texas 3 O’Clock Lab Band, directed by Tanya Darby
This fantastic band from the legendary UNT Jazz Program, will be backing Carmen Bradford. This band will rock the house – hold on to your seats!!!

Saturday night concert

2018 Friends University Jazz Festival All-Stars

Bobby Watson, alto saxophone
Bobby is one of most well-known jazz saxophonists and jazz composers in the world. He currently lives in Kansas City, where he is the Director of Jazz at UMKC. Bobby is an alumni of the famous Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, his own group Horizons, and many other groups. He is on dozens of recordings both as a leader and a sideman, and continues to travel the world as a performer and educator.

Lee Rucker, trumpet
Lee was the director of the famed University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) Jazz Program for many years and now retired, still teaches as an adjunct professor at UCO. Lee has performed with many name artists over the years, and continues to be a very active musician in the Oklahoma City area.

Jerry Hahn, guitar
Jerry Hahn is simply a legend in the jazz guitar world. He has recorded with John Handy, Gary Burton and his own group the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood. He has taught at Wichita State University, Portland State University and many other places. He published the Jerry Hahn Method for Jazz Guitar, and has written many compositions.

Matt Wilson, drums
Matt is well known in Wichita, having completed his undergraduate degree in Music from Wichita State University, and making many trips back to Wichita over the years. He currently resides in New York, and travels world-wide playing and teaching jazz. Matt has recorded with Lee Konitz, Cecil McBee, Dewey Redman and many others. He has also recorded a number of CD’s as a leader with various groups. Matt has been featured on the covers of both Downbeat and JazzTimes, and has been voted drummer of the year by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Glenn Holmes, bass
Glenn is also well known in Wichita, having taught at both Wichita State University and Friends University, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio. Glenn has performed with many name jazz musicians, and is a published composer. Currently, the Glenn Holmes Quartet is one of the most in-demand jazz groups in Cleveland. Glenn is a faculty member at the The Music Settlement in Cleveland.

Nathan Hittle, piano
Nathan is a 2009 Friends University graduate, and a 2021 graduate of the University of Virginia Law School. Nathan literally grew up playing jazz gigs in Wichita. He is now a Staff Attorney for the Virginia Crime Commission in Richmond, Virginia, and still plays jazz gigs in the Richmond and Charlottesville area.