WSU jazz band to perform benefit concert in support of upcoming trip to Elmhurst College Jazz Festival

Wayne State University’s Department of Music Jazz Big Band, under the direction of Associate Chair and Associate Professor of Jazz Studies Russ Miller, will present a benefit concert on Sunday, Feb. 2, in support of the ensemble's upcoming trip to the prestigious Elmhurst College Jazz Festival in Elmhurst, Illinois. The concert will take place in Schaver Music Recital Hall at Wayne State at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults, and they can be purchased online.

One of the Department of Music's premier ensembles, the WSU Jazz Big Band will travel to Elmhurst College for its 53rd Annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival held Thursday, Feb. 20, through Sunday, Feb. 23. This event provides the opportunity for students to learn from today’s renowned jazz musicians.

“The Elmhurst College Jazz Festival is an established, well-known and prestigious college jazz festival with a long history,” said Miller. “WSU jazz ensemble participation in an event like this has not occurred since the jazz band performed at the Music Educators National Conference in Chicago in 1995.”

The band will join college-level jazz ensembles from all over the region for four days of performances, clinics and more. The event will feature performances by an impressive lineup of current day jazz greats, including:

  • The Count Basie Orchestra directed by Scotty Barnhart
  • The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
  • Bobby Floyd
  • Dennis Mackrel
  • Bobby Shew
  • Gary Smulyan

This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to prepare and perform music for an audience of internationally known jazz artists, adjudicators and other college jazz ensembles,” said Miller. “Wayne State University; the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts; and the Department of Music will be well represented by the quality performance our students give.”

About the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival
Established in 1968, the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival welcomes the best college jazz bands in the country to the Elmhurst campus for four days of performances and education. The bands take turns performing for some of the greatest names in professional jazz today, who offer critiques and award a variety of honors. The professionals cap off each night of the festival with a rousing performance of their own.

For the college bands, the festival offers an exciting opportunity to learn from some of today’s greatest jazz musicians. For the audience, it’s a chance to hear both college bands and jazz greats.

For more information on this annual jazz festival, visit

Department of Music: Leah Celebi, 313-577-1783