The 2012 Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival features performances March 29-31 with the Noah Preminger Group, Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, Knox College Jazz Ensemble, Knox Alumni Big Band, and Knox Faculty and Friends Combo.

The Saturday headliner concert by the Noah Preminger Group will showcase the ensemble —  Preminger on saxophone, Frank Kimbrough on piano, John Hebert on bass, and Matt Wilson on drums — from Preminger’s most recent recording, Before the Rain. The album was named one of the top 10 jazz albums of 2011 by National Public Radio, Slate/Stereophile, All About Jazz and Jazz in Space.

The award-winning Knox Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Nikki Malley, instructor in music and jazz program director, will open for Preminger.

Friday night’s featured act is Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls. A Chicago-based drummer, Sirota formed the group in 1995. It has performed throughout the United States and Europe, including at the 2003 Chicago Jazz Festival. Sirota writes that his most recent CD, Breeding Resistance, “tackles the timely issues of oppression and resistance… The compositions pay tribute to fallen revolutionaries, expose current tyrants, and express hope for future generations.”

The opening act on Friday night is the Knox Alumni Big Band, directed by Justin Haynes, a Knox graduate who teaches saxophone and guitar at Knox, while the Knox Faculty and Friends Combo performs Thursday night.

Thursday and Friday concerts are at 8 p.m. in McGillacuddy’s in Galesburg. The Saturday night concert begins at 5 p.m. in the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg.

Tickets are available at the door at each concert, or in advance by calling Nikki Malley at 309-341-7265.

Founded in 1980, the Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival has brought dozens of leading jazz artists to Galesburg, including Kurt Elling, Benny Green, Matt Wilson, Ben Allison, Frank Mantooth, Greg Osby, Curtis Fuller, Mose Allison, and the Hornheads.

32nd Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival ~ March 29-31, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 8 p.m.: Knox Faculty and Friends Combo
McGillacuddy’s (58 S. Cherry St.)
Admission: $7

Friday, March 30, 8 p.m.: Knox Alumni Jazz Band and Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls
Knox Alumni Jazz Band (8-9 p.m.)
Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls (9:30 p.m.-Midnight)
McGillacuddy’s (58 S. Cherry St.)
Admission: $10 for both events

Saturday, March 31 5 p.m.: The Knox Jazz Ensemble with The Noah Preminger Group
Knox Jazz Ensemble (5-6:30 p.m.)
The Noah Preminger Group (7 p.m.)
Orpheum Theatre (57 S. Kellogg St.)
Admission: $12 (floor and balcony) -$15 (mezzanine)


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