(Submitted by the Foxboro Music Association)
The Foxboro Music Association is excited to welcome tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin, to Foxboro’s 31st Annual Jazz Fest on Friday, May 18, at 7 pm in the Foxboro High School auditorium. The concert will showcase all of the jazz groups in the Foxboro music program, including the Ahern Junior Jazz Band and the High School Jazz Lab Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Choir.
“Jazz Fest allows our jazz students to interact musically and personally with a professional guest artist, and to perform a wide range of jazz styles and traditions,” says Steve Massey, Director of Music for the Foxboro Public Schools. Given the excellence of the Foxboro music and jazz program,
Jazz Fest also provides an opportunity for area residents to hear outstanding jazz, right in our backyard. Tickets for Jazz Fest are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. Proceeds support the FMA’s mission of providing scholarships, enrichment activities for the Foxboro music program, and the commissioning of new works.
A graduate of the Berklee School of Music, McCaslin has been playing saxophone since his childhood days. His earliest performances included playing in his father’s jazz band, but by the time he was in high school, he had formed his own band, and was selected to play at the Monterey Jazz Festival for three years in a row.
He also toured with all-star youth ensembles through Europe and Japan, and won a full scholarship to Berklee, where he became a member of Gary Burton’s quintet, touring Europe, Japan, and North and South America for four years.
McCaslin has also played with Steps Ahead, the Gil Evans Orchestra, the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, the Danilo Perez Quartet, and others. In 1997 McCaslin joined David Binney, Scott Colley, Kenny Wollesen to form an experimental jazz collective, Lan Xang, which released two CDs, Mythology and Hidden Gardens. He has released three solo albums: Exile and Discovery (Naxos, 1998), Seen from Above (Arabesque, 2000), and The Way Through (Arabesque, 2003).
McCaslin’s reputation, technical skills, and artistic gifts are unique, attracting a long list of collaborators with whom he has performed and recorded.
The Foxboro Jazz Program, under the direction of Steve Massey and George Murphy, continues to excel. The Ahern Junior Jazz Band consistently earns the top awards at middle school festivals in the region.
The Foxboro High School Jazz Ensemble is one of the premier high school jazz bands in the New England region, consistently earning top place awards in both regional and national competitions, including their recent gold medals in the Massachusetts unit of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE).
The Jazz Ensemble has regularly been chosen to compete at the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City. They released a CD in 2011 called Symphony in Riffs, which will be available at the jazz fest.
Past guest artists in the jazz program have included Jeff Galindo, Vincent Gardner, Erica vonKleist, Ernie Watts, Alan Dawson, John Fedchock, Mike Monaghan, Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi, Phil Wilson, Jeff Stout, Cecelia Smith, Andy MaGee, Dick Johnson, Grey Sargent, Ted Casher, Kim Richmond, Jeff Holmes, Clay Jenkins, Herb Pomeroy, Dave Pietro, Tiger Okoshi, Wycliffe Gordon, Bobby Shew, Victor Goines, Greg Hopkins and vocalists Candy Stout and Rebecca Parris.