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Annual jazz fest kicks off with Jiggs Whigham

March 11, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will host two concerts featuring jazz trombonist and BBC Big Band conductor Jiggs Whigham during the 27th annual Western Invitational Jazz Festival, Friday and Saturday, March 16-17.

The festival will kick off with a performance by Whigham and the Western Jazz Quintet at 8:15 p.m. Friday. It will conclude with a second concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, during which Whigham will share the stage with the high school jazz bands and combos that have taken part in festival classes. Both events will be in the Dalton Center Recital Hall and are open to the public.

General admission seating is $10. Tickets will be available at the door or may be purchased in advance by calling (269) 387-2300 or (800) 228-9858, online at millerauditorium.com or by visiting the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office.

Whigham is an internationally acclaimed trombonist, conductor and educator. He first caught the attention of critics and fans when, at 17, he was a featured soloist and first trombonist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. In addition to participating in a number of studio and Broadway musical engagements, he has performed as first and solo trombonist with Stan Kenton, and as featured soloist with the Kurt Edelhagen Jazz Orchestra at the West German Broadcasting Company in Cologne, Germany.

In 1966, Whigham was awarded first prize at the inaugural International Competition for Modern Jazz in Vienna, Austria. Currently, he is conductor of the BBC Big Band in London and artistic director of the Berlin Jazz Orchestra.

Media contact: Kevin West, (269) 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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