The 34th Annual Cal State East Bay Jazz Festival is scheduled for April 12 & 13, 2019.
Our guest artist this year is multiple GRAMMY®-nominated pianist Geoffrey Keezer!
The Cal State East Bay Jazz Festival is non-competitive and open to all levels; middle school, high school, college and community bands are eligible for entry. The festival encourages and engages participants through interactive learning and playing. Each participating band has a 1/2 hour warmup time followed by a 45-minute time slot at their performance site. That 45 minutes can be used any way the director wants, and is most helpfully worked out where the participating band plays for 20-25 minutes their planned set (usually 3 tunes). During that time, the adjudicators will be sitting in the audience area speaking their comments into a recorder. When the band's set is done, the remaining time is used for the interactive clinic with the adjudicators who will be demonstrating the concepts they wish to convey with the bands.
With his highly regarded discography, unique compositions, and acclaimed performances in a variety of configurations, multiple GRAMMY®-nominated pianist Geoffrey Keezer commands the attention typically reserved for the living legends of jazz. A native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Keezer was playing in jazz clubs as a teenager, holding down the piano chair for Art Blakey at age 18, and touring in the company of Ray Brown, Joshua Redman, Diana Krall, Art Famer, Benny Golson and Barbara Hendricks in his 20s. More recently he has toured with Wayne Shorter, Dianne Reeves, David Sanborn, Chris Botti, Sting, Joe Locke and Christian McBride; produced and arranged three GRAMMY®-nominated recordings with vocalist Denise Donatelli, and released a series of albums drawing influences from Hawaiian, Okinawan and Afro-Peruvian folk traditions. His 2009 album Áurea (ArtistShare) was nominated for a Best Latin Jazz Album GRAMMY® award. Geoffrey’s 2013 solo piano release, Heart of the Piano (Motema Records), seeks to redefine solo jazz piano as a personal and interactive showcase of melody, energy and groove, while his latest album On My Way to You (MarKeez Records 2018) is a stunning new set of music featuring his working trio with the addition of guest vocalist Gillian Margot.
Geoffrey’s compositions have been commissioned by the Mainly Mozart Festival, Art of Elán ensemble, Saint Joseph Ballet, Zeltsman Marimba Festival, Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra and Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. His music can be heard in the films What Happens in Vegas and Inhale, and in numerous TV shows including The Young and the Restless (CBS), Parks and Recreation (NBC), House of Lies(Showtime), and Casual (Hulu Original).
Time Magazine wrote, “Geoffrey has more than enough virtuosity and sheer musical wit and intelligence to weave all of his apparently disparate strands of influence into an original and compelling whole”, and pop icon Sting said “In the universe of piano players that I have been exposed to over the years, Geoffrey has proved himself to be not only a superb technician and improviser, but also above and beyond this, a composer and conceptualist who can maintain the overall line and the DNA of the song in everything he plays. A musician’s musician.”
Concert performance Friday, April 12, 2019, will feature guest artist Geoffrey Keezer, and the CSU East Bay Jazz Orchestra.
Performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre
Performances and adjudications of local middle school, high school, college and community bands will take place on Saturday, April 13, 2019 in the University Theatre (Stage A) and the Studio Theatre (Stage B). This event is open to the public and will run from 8:30am - 4:00pm. Individual instrumental clinics and an event with our guest artist will also take place following the afternoon adjudications. Visit our schedule page for the most up-to-date information.