The Ben Markley Big Band with drummer Ari Hoenig Jazz Festival headliners

By: Lisa S. Icenogle
Image for Kinser Jazz Festival 2024 press release.

The Ben Markley Big Band, with drummer Ari Hoenig, will headline the 57th Annual Kinser Jazz Festival on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. The concert will also feature two other musical acts: The Wyoming All-State Jazz Choir and John Roberts y Pan Blanco.

The Tuesday night concert is part of the Casper College Kinser Jazz Festival on February 5 through 7. Nearly 700 college, senior and junior high school students and their instructors will participate in the festival through their jazz bands, combos, and vocal groups. The festival provides a setting for the groups to perform in a noncompetitive environment over three days.

“This is going to be a huge concert with three acts,” said Joshua R. Mietz, DMA. Tuesday night’s opening act is a Latin band from Billings, Montana, called John Roberts y Pan Blanco. “His group is really fun to watch,” Mietz said. To see the band in action, go to their website.

Following John Roberts y Pan Blanco will be the Wyoming All-State Jazz Choir. The choir is comprised of vocal students from Wyoming. Each vocalist was chosen based on their audition tapes.

Markley is a pianist, composer, arranger, author, educator, and leader of the Ben Markley Big Band, a daring ensemble known for their creative takes on beloved modern and contemporary jazz classics, according to Markley’s biography. Recently, Markley and Hoenig recorded “Ari’s Funhouse.” Markley’s biography noted that the album received great critical acclaim and was selected as one of the best four-star rated albums of 2022 by DownBeat magazine. To listen to the Ben Markley Big Band with Ari Hoenig perform, check out this website.

The headliner concert will take place in the John F. Welsh Auditorium located in Natrona County High School. All other events will take place in the Music Building on the Casper College campus. All festival daytime events are free and open to the public.

Tickets for the Tuesday night concert are $30 for adults and $20 for students and can be purchased online or by calling 307-268-2606 or 800-442-2963, ext. 2606. All other events are free for the public to attend. A full schedule of events is available here.

The 57th Annual Kinser Jazz Festival is sponsored in part by grants from the Wyoming Arts Council, Enroll Wyoming, BOCES, ARTCORE, and the Casper College Foundation and Alumni Association.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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