Merced County Times Newspaper
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‘When Art Meets Jazz’ comes to Fresno

‘When Art Meets Jazz’ will be held on Saturday, May 18, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the beautiful Sculpture Garden of the Fresno Art Museum in Fresno.

The event is not the typical art show or jazz concert. Rather than displaying their work while a jazz trio plays softly in the background and the audience sips Chardonnay and nibbles on cheese, a number of Valley artists will begin the event with a blank canvas-literally. As the show begins, they will draw their inspiration from the improvised music of many of the Valley’s best jazz musicians and the atmosphere of the event itself and create work on the spot.

The first hours of the event will feature Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop ensembles-students from around the Valley who have distinguished themselves at a young age and who have received abundant recognition for their efforts.

Later in the afternoon a collection of the Valley’s best jazz pros will take to the stage, including ensembles that will feature Benjamin Boone, Richard Giddens, and David Aus. Benjamin Boone is a saxophonist and composer who had a record nominated for Record of the Year in last year’s Down Beat Readers Poll. (He lost to a couple of “unknowns” by the names of Chick Corea and Winton Marsalis.) He has received over eighteen national and international awards and honors for his music, which appears on twenty-six CDs. His music has been played by leading performers of both jazz and classical music in over twenty-nine countries at leading venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and Disney Hall. Richard Giddens (double bass) was a former member of the touring cast of Stomp and plays with a number of New York and Los Angeles jazz musicians including the recording artists Burning Ghosts (featuring Daniel Rosenbloom). He is currently the Director of Jazz Studies at Fresno State and was recently awarded a grant from the California Arts Council naming him Jazz Artist in Residence at Arte Américas where he introduced the Jazz Fellows Program. David Aus is a talented jazz pianist/keyboard player, composer, and arranger. He frequently collaborates with Ben Boone and can often be heard as an on-air host on Valley Public Radio. These three immensely talented musicians will combine their collective talents with other outstanding local jazz musicians

Accompanying the musicians will be notable local artists who will follow no rules except to be inspired by the sights, sounds, and rhythm of the event. The artists will include Caleb Henderson, Stephanie Ryan, Anne Scheid, Kevin Stewart-Magee, Rob Weibel, Ron Wigginton, Julia Woli Scott, Evany Zirul, and others. Artwork will be auctioned to the highest bidder during the event. Jackie Ryle will be the Master of Ceremonies. Of note, artist Rob Weibel will be demonstrating his amazing pyrotechnic art skills as he creates dramatic art pieces with gunpowder.

The event will also include no-host cocktails and food vendors.

TICKETS in advance: $25 | after May 11, 2019: $30 | children 10 and under: free

Tickets available through the Fresno Art Museum, 2233 N. First Street | 559.441.4221 OR go online to and search for FAM or When Art Meets Jazz.

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