Athens Jazz & Blues Festival February 2 2008

Mark PenderOn February 2nd, (the previously listed Feb.1 performance has been cancelled) the Jazztet is slated to play Athens Jazz & Blues Festival with special guest Mark Pender, trumpet player for Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

Trumpet player Mark Pender has performed and toured with artists such as Jay McShann, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Earland, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Diana Ross, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Bruce Springsteen, and has recorded with David Bowie, Joe Cocker, Bon Jovi, They Might Be Giants, and Robert Cray.

After the jump you can read the press release for the Athens Jazz & Blues Festival.

Below is the press release for the Athens Winter Jazz and Blues Festival:

Athens County Visitors Bureau:

Jazz & Blues Artists to Storm into Athens
For the 1st Annual Athens Winter Jazz & Blues Festival February 1-3

(Athens-OH) – Jazz and Blues. Is there a better way to heat up on a cold winter night than to hear some of the hottest jazz and blues musicians around?

The 1st Annual Athens Winter Jazz & Blues Festival is bringing world-class talent to town. There just might be some swinging in the streets of Uptown Athens.

Mark Pender, trumpet player on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien and leader of the Mark Pender Band, will be the featured performer. Although Mark is unlikely to toot his own horn, he is so good and his background so impressive that his arrival in the area is highly anticipated.

Mark has performed, toured, and recorded with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Earland, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Diana Ross, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, David Bowie, Joe Cocker, Bon Jovi, They Might Be Giants, and Robert Cray. The festival was created with the idea of bringing music to the already-music loving Athens community, at a time when there isn’t a whole lot of things going on. It should prove to be a delightful, upbeat break to the graylight of winter — even if there is snow flying around!


Friday Night Jam
To get the festival started Friday night, Athens’ own R&B Station will play at Casa Nueva at 10:30 pm. Mark Pender will join them on-stage and likely raise the decibels another notch. (Rumor has it that other bands may arrive early, so who knows what kind of jam-fest might break out.)

Blues in the Schools: Music Workshop
On Saturday, Mark is hosting a free “Blues in the Schools” music workshop open to all local high school and junior high school musicians. It will be held at Alexander High School from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. Mark will be joined by R&B Station band members Mike Price, Mike Doughty, Shorty Starr, and Kay Carter; Athens’ own American Idol contestant Sharell Andrews; and several other expert musicians for workshop sections that cover
all instruments, including brass, bass, guitar, drums, and vocals. Students should bring their own instruments, but a free lunch will be provided.

Saturday Night Events
On Saturday, there will be 9 performers at 6 different venues—and Mark will join each and every one of them onstage! So you have some tough choices to make: try to catch them all, go on a Pub Crawl, or go on a Family Fun Run. …Or any combination.

Luckily, every option is a good option.

Here’s the Master Schedule for Saturday Night:

6:00 Toscano’s The Jazztet
6:30 Jackie O’s Old School Union
7:00 ARTS/West Alexander High School Jazz Ensemble
7:00 Brenen’s Bill Rawlins
8:30 Brenen’s Cheryl Renee
9:00 ARTS/West Hip Pocket
10:00 19 South II Juicy
10:30 Casa Nueva Terry Efaw & Steve Reis (from McGuffey Lane)
11:30 Casa Nueva R&B Station

Jazz & Blues Family Fun Run
Through the Family Fun Run, The Athens Winter Jazz & Blues Festival offers a fun-loving, family atmosphere. So bundle up the troops, take your friends, and head to Toscano’s, Brenen’s, and ARTS/West for several performances.

Jazz & Blues Pub Crawl
Stay warm by checking out each hot band and grabbing a drink at Jackie O’s, Toscano’s, 19 South, and Casa Nueva.
And although there’s no alcohol, Brenen’s and ARTS/West are also within walking distance, so be sure to check in on the action there as well!

Super Sunday Afternoon Sessions
Jazz & Blues on Super Bowl Sunday? Who says it has to be an either/or dilemma? Start off your Super Sunday with some more performances at ARTS/West, and you’ll still be home in time for kick-off. And like the big game, the Afternoon Sessions start with four exciting quarters of play.
II Juicy hits the high notes at 1:00 pm, followed by the OU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Professor Matthew James at 2:00 pm, The Alexander High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of band director Matt Burigo at 2:45 pm, and R&B Station at 3:30 pm. Not to disappoint, overtime begins at 4:15 pm when Mark Pender takes center stage to perform his own music. He will be backed up by R&B Station.

Ticket pre-sales begin on Monday, January 14 and are $15 for the entire weekend (which includes all 14 shows). They are available at Blue Eagle, Haffas, O’Betty’s, and Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau. On Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 2, tickets can be purchased at any show and are $20 for the entire weekend (all shows) or $5 per show.

There will be ticket giveaways through WXTQ and WOUB, so be sure to listen for a chance to win. Plus, the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau will be giving away two pairs of VIP Tickets. VIP Ticket winners will receive admittance to all shows, dinner with Mark on Friday night, and travel with Mark Pender from venue to venue on Saturday. Rules and registration will be available at

Band Bios:

The Jazztet
Athens Ohio’s premiere jazz quintet, The Jazztet is recognized for its versatility and purity of sound. They perform jazz styles ranging from Classic to Contemporary to Latin, including the music of Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny.

Bill Rawlins
Bill Rawlins plays acoustic guitar and sings an eclectic selection of original songs and covers. When he first arrived in Athens in 2003, Bill played drums with R&B Station. Recently, he played both guitar and drums on J. W. Smith, a.k.a. Dr. Feelgood’s CD and has appeared solo and with Karen Deardorff at the Sternwheeler Festival in Marietta and local venues in the Athens area.

Old School Union
Playing old school R&B, Smooth Jazz, and Funkn’ Soul, Old School Union is a seven member band out of Columbus. They’re led by Wayne Williams, who’s played with The O’Jays and the Temptations.

Terry Efaw & Steve Reis (from McGuffey Lane)
McGuffey Lane founding members Terry Efaw and Steve Reis have been attracting audiences with their high-energy rock, country and contemporary music with McGuffey Lane since the 80’s. But they remain fresh and innovative, and rock the blues, too.

Cheryl Renee
A dynamic and extremely popular band leader, keyboardist, song stylist and “Goddess of the blues” was born and reared in Cincinnati, where she returned to team with local group THEM BONES and land at top 10 spot at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, 2005. She also was nominated for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award in the Blues category.

Hip Pocket
Hip Pocket brings together some of the strongest musicians in the area to recreate the sound that had been missing from the MOV mix for several years, an eclectic mix of soul, blues, rock, and contemporary music from the 60’s thru today. Hip Pocket’s sound is pleasantly unmistakable. An 8-piece fusion of intricate brass, driving rhythms, and lush vocal harmonies make Hip Pocket a unique and entertaining musical medium for listeners of all ages.

II Juicy
This energetic five piece band plays R&B and Blues with an Aretha Franklin-like vocalist. It’s no wonder they won the 2006 Ciny Blues challenge; every performance is a party. II Juicy received nominations for CEA awards for best Blues band and best live act. You can find this talented act playing venues all over the region each weekend of the year.

R&B Station
Known regionally as the high-energy, audience oriented party band, R&B Station specializes in R&B, Blues, Classic Rock and Soul. They are based in Athens, Ohio and feature many veteran players, notably the electrifying vocals of Pat Costello, the incendiary guitar work of Mike Price, and the thundering bass of bandleader Mike Doughty. The band toured with Shirley King and is now performing regionally and nationally on their own name.

Alexander High School Jazz Ensemble
Under the direction of Matt Burigo

OU Jazz Ensemble
Under the direction of Professor Matthew James