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The newly formed Milwaukee Jazz Institute (MJI) is dedicated to promoting jazz education, performance, and appreciation in the Milwaukee area. MJI offers jazz ensemble classes for youth and adults at the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts (926 E Center St) and music workshops at the Jazz Estate (2423 N Murray Ave). Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel (139 E Kilbourn Ave) will be the site for the MJI educational jazz festival this spring and a concert series by the MJI resident ensemble, We Six. Details on all activities can be found at www.milwaukeejazzinstitute.org.
Pianist and educator Mark Davis is the founder and artistic director of the Milwaukee Jazz Institute. A lifelong practitioner and teacher of jazz, Davis maintains a love, respect, and enthusiasm for the art form that he is eager to share. “I’ve seen what a positive, transformative impact this music can have on both individuals and communities. I’m excited about the ways in which our events and activities will bring people together and bolster our vibrant music scene,” said Davis.
Davis formed the Milwaukee Jazz Institute with like-minded people. Among them are business executives and owners, community leaders, jazz musicians, educators, and enthusiasts. In conjunction with their education and performance initiatives, they want to expand and diversify the local audience for jazz and create opportunities for professional and aspiring musicians.
The Milwaukee Jazz Institute 2020 Jazz Festival, will be held March 19 & 20, 2020 at Saint Kate -The Arts Hotel. Any member of the public who would like to participate in the workshops or enjoy the performances can purchase a day-pass for $25.
The festival will feature performances and workshops by members of We Six (David Bayles, Scott Burns, Mark Davis, Jeff Hamann, Eric Jacobson, Paul Silbergleit) along with other top jazz musicians and educators including Chris Crain, Manty Ellis, Kevin Hayden, Alan Harris, Curt Hanrahan, Bony Plog-Benavides, Darren Sterud, and Donna Woodall.
The focus of the festival is on jazz education. 15 school ensembles are already registered to attend. High school and middle school jazz ensembles will have the opportunity to perform, receive feedback, and compete for awards. Schools, students, and community members interested in attending should contact the Milwaukee Jazz Institute at 414-234-5565 to learn how to register.
Milwaukee Jazz Institute Faculty and Staff
Mark Davis (piano), Founder and Artistic Director; Eric Jacobson (trumpet), Education Director; Dave Bayles (drums); Chris Crain (piano); Jeff Hamann (bass); Paul Silbergleit (guitar); Erin Richardson, Office Director.
Milwaukee Jazz Institute Board of Directors
Greg Marcus (CEO, Marcus Corporation), Board President; Bill Bonifas (Executive VP, CBRE), Board Treasurer; Erin Richardson (Owner, In Its Place, LLC), Board Secretary and MJI Office Director; Board Members: Carl Brown (CEO, Fresh Coast Jazz), Chris Crain (CEO, Better Project Awareness Foundation), Manty Ellis (Legendary Jazz Guitarist), Brian Lynch (Professor, Frost School of Music), Lynn Lucius (Owner, Lynn Lucius Consulting), and Steve Tilton (Attorney, Tilton & Tilton).