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About 500 attend South Dakota Jazz Festival concert at NSU

Northern State University Percussion Professor Terry Beckler works with student musicians from the Jamestown High School jazz band during the 44th annual South Dakota Jazz Festival Jan. 23 in the Johnson Fine Arts Center.


ABERDEEN, S.D. - About 500 people attended Thursday night’s South Dakota Jazz Festival feature concert in the Northern State University Johnson Fine Arts Center.


The concert, presented by the NSU School of Fine Arts and the Aberdeen Community Concert Association, featured performances by NSU ensembles, clinician Nat McIntosh and high school groups selected from the day’s festival.



The 44th annual festival ran all day Thursday in JFAC and Krikac Auditorium. Around 300 students from area and visiting schools participated in instrumental and vocal jazz performances. Among the schools represented were Simmons, Holgate, and Aberdeen Central; Groton Area; Jamestown, N.D.; Lisbon, N.D.; Trinity in Dickinson, N.D.; St. Thomas More in Rapid City; and NSU.

A vocal jazz clinic was conducted by vocal jazz artist Dr. Lisanne Lyons. Lyons teaches studio music and jazz at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. Previously she was an associate professor of music at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she founded the vocal jazz program and directed the DownBeat Award-winning vocal jazz group, the New Virginians. During her tenure at VT, she received the Gamma Mu Chapter of Delta Omicron Music Professor of the Year Award.
The instrumental clinician featured at the festival was Nat McIntosh. He is a master sousaphonist, trombonist and euphonium player. He is co-founder and sousaphonist with the Young Blood Brass Band, an eight-piece brass and drum ensemble based in the tradition of a New-Orleans-style brass band. Throughout his nine years as leader of the group, McIntosh garnered critical and public acclaim for his many compositions, blending intense brass music with hip-hop, afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and jazz-funk styles.