Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival

November 7, 2018

The 2019 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival boasts two headline acts that will thrill any fan of jazz - whether casual listener or true devotee. Director of Jazz Studies, Jim Widner, is on the eve of his retirement from the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), and he is planning nothing short of spectacular for final run of the festival, his signature event.

As is the case every year, the UMSL Jazz Ensemble, directed by Widner, opens for each of the headline acts. The Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival takes place April 12 and 13, 2019.

The Friday night headliner is the DIVA Jazz Orchestra directed by Sherrie Maricle. DIVA is an ensemble of 15 extremely talented and versatile musicians who just happen to be women. Headed by swinging drummer Maricle, DIVA exudes the excitement and force found in the tradition of the historic big bands but with an eye towards today’s progressive sound of originality and verve. With New York as their home base, DIVA performs all over the world playing contemporary, mainstream big band jazz composed and arranged to fit the individual personalities and styles of the musicians themselves. Audiences can expect to hear high-energy performances packed with unique improvisation, spontaneity, and fun.

On Saturday night, the jazz community pays tribute to Widner with the Ultimate Jazz All-Stars Big Band directed by Gregg Field. Field, an eight-time Grammy Award-winner and Latin Grammy Producer of the year, is assembling a one-night-only big band in honor of Widner, his former teacher and mentor. Field and musicians such as Tom Scott, Scotty Barnhart, Gordon Goodwin, Eric Marienthal, Carlitos del Puerto, Shelly Berg and others are planning an all-star blowout celebration.The Ultimate Jazz All-Stars Band promises an incomparable night of music in a sendoff to one of the most beloved jazz educators and musicians. Come enjoy the music – this tribute is once in a lifetime.

Tickets for the 2019 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival are on sale now. Click here for more information about the DIVA Jazz Orchestra and to purchase tickets. Click here for more information about the Ultimate Jazz All-Stars Big Band and to purchase tickets.