Jazz Guitar and More Festival slated Nov. 11

Mike SternSUNY Oswego will host the sixth annual Jazz Guitar and More Festival, headlined by the Mike Stern Quartet, on Saturday, Nov. 11, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

Coordinated by the SUNY Oswego music department, adjunct guitar professor Rick Balestra and Artswego, the festival offers hands-on opportunities to learn about and hear jazz, blues and avant-garde guitar offerings. This year’s event also introduces flamenco guitar styles into its repertoire. Renowned musicians and professors will teach master classes and workshops, as well as offer performances throughout the day.

Headliner Mike Stern, joined by other world-class soloists on saxophone, bass and drums, strives to bring the energy of rock back into jazz guitar. Stern played with Blood, Sweat and Tears at the age of 22 and has since shared the stage with the likes of Jaco Pastorius, the Brecker Brothers and Miles Davis.

Stern was named Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year by Guitar Player magazine in 1993 and earned Grammy nominations for his albums “Is What It Is” and “Between the Lines.”

Other top names include Rez Abbasi, a modern jazz guitarist who honors his native roots in the Indian subcontinent and Southern California where he grew up. He has recorded five albums of original compositions featuring his blended genre, most recently “Snake Charmer.”

Acclaimed guitarist Rodney Jones, who will make his third straight appearance teaching at the event, called it “the premiere guitar festival in the country as far as I am concerned. Wherever you are on the road to learning the jazz guitar, this is a great place to find and take your next musical steps.”

Other participating teachers and performers will include Dennis Koster, Gene Bertoncini and John Stowell, as well as three jazz guitar disciples of Oswego’s music program in Brian Duran, Greg Wachala and Mike Nirsberger.

For more information on the Jazz Guitar and More Festival, contact Balestra at 315-751-5840 or rbguitar@twcny.rr.com or Mary Avrakotos at 315-312-4581 or artswego@oswego.edu.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Jazz at Oswego—Grammy-nominated music Mike Stern will headline a day of instruction and entertainment at SUNY Oswego’s sixth annual Jazz Guitar and More Festival on Saturday, Nov. 11. The festival, which unfolds in Tyler Hall, offers hands-on opportunities to learn about and hear jazz, blues, flamenco and avant-garde guitar offerings from renowned teachers and performers.

(Posted: Jul 27, 2006)