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CHARLESTON -- Eastern Illinois University will be hosting the 60th Annual EIU Jazz Festival on Feb. 8 and 9, according to a press release.

Considered one of Illinois’ premiere jazz festivals, the event attracts young musicians from across the state. High school and middle school student musicians from Illinois and Indiana will gather on the Charleston campus to hear perform and sharpen their musical skills. This year’s guest performances will be former EIU alumni Josh Marcus, Aaron Eckert, and Tim Stanley.

Tim Stanley is one of the most in-demand performers in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. region. Stanley is a founding member of the Grammy-winning Latin jazz ensemble Afro-Bop Alliance, and the Unified Jazz Ensemble. As an educator, Stanley has presented numerous clinics across the USA and served on the faculty of the Maryland Summer Jazz Camp and The National Jazz Workshop at Shenandoah University. He has performed and and recorded with Chris Potter, Randy Brecker, Branford Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, and many other musical luminaries.

Josh Marcus is a saxophonist who's shared the stage with artists such as Joe Lovano, Benny Golson, Peter Erskine, and many others. Currently, he is on tour playing keys with Cigarettes After Sex and working on his own projects.

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Aaron Eckert was recently named the third trombone chair with the United States Army Blues. He a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and was awarded 1st prize in the Rich Matteson Jazz Euphonium Competition at the International Tuba Euphonium Competition, and second place in the quartet competition with the Carillon Tuba Quartet.

The jazz festival’s opening concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday. On Saturday students will have the opportunity to hone their music skills by participating in a variety of clinics and competitive events. The clinics are conducted by a wide array of jazz educators and professional jazz players, as well as special guest performances.

Tickets for the opening concert featuring the EIU Jazz Ensemble, along with the special guest artists are $17 for general admission, $13 for seniors (62+), $7 for students, and can be purchased online at www.eiu.edu/doudna or at the Doudna Fine Arts Center Box Office. Box Office hours are Tuesday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and one hour prior to the scheduled performance.

The Doudna Fine Arts Center is located at 1860 South Seventh St. in Charleston on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. Free parking is located near the fine arts center. To arrange accommodations for those needing special assistance, contact Doudna Fine Arts Patron Services at 217-581-3110 or doudnatix@eiu.edu.

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