Jazz Festival features two concerts and many guest artists

The 2011 Willamette Jazz Festival begins Feb. 4 and will feature guest artists Ron Miles on trumpet, Jeff Miley on guitar and the Hashem Assadullahi Sextet. The public is welcome to enjoy clinics scheduled throughout the festival at no cost, and this year’s festival features two concerts.

The Hashem Assadullahi Sextet, featuring Ron Miles, will perform at the Festival Opening Concert, Friday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Willamette’s Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center. General admission seating is $10, $5 for students and seniors.

On Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m., the festival closes in the university’s Smith Auditorium with a concert featuring Ron Miles, Jeff Miley and the Willamette Jazz Collective. General admission seating is $15 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

Tickets are available weekdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the music office within Rogers Music Center. Pick up tickets at the door at 6:45 p.m. To charge by phone or for more information, call (503) 370-6255.

About the festival and guest artists

The Willamette University Jazz Festival brings leading musicians to the Salem area for a weekend of world-class performance and education. Known for its artistic vision, the festival offers Northwest students of all levels the opportunity to learn from the country’s finest jazz educators.

Guest artist Ron Miles' has played with Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter, Madeline Peyroux, Don Byron and the Ellington Orchestra. Respected throughout the international jazz scene as a gifted trumpeter with a truly unique sound, Miles teaches trumpet and jazz studies at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.

“What is so exciting about Ron is that he really has his own voice. It seems like everything that is going on right now is either very conservative or it rejects everything. Ron has found a way to include everything and not reject things, and still be his own person,” said Grammy-winning guitarist Bill Frisell.

Hashem Assadullahi is a New York City saxophonist and composer. He holds degrees in jazz studies and saxophone performance from the University of Oregon and the University of Texas at Arlington. He has held teaching positions at Lane Community College and Mahidol University in Bangkok.

Guitarist Jeff Miley has played professionally for nearly three decades. He teaches guitar at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, Calif. and the Los Angeles Music Academy.  A native Southern Californian, Miley performs in the greater Los Angeles area.