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Live, from HCC!

DATE: Wednesday, March 17, 2021

TIME: 8:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Leslie Phillips Theater, HCC Fine & Performing Arts Building

ADMISSION: $15; $10; $7

SNL Saxophonist Ron Blake guest artist for annual HCC Jazz Festival

Ron Blake

Saxophonist Ron Blake, a 15-year veteran of NBC's Saturday Night Live Band, will be the guest artist at the 23rd annual Holyoke Community College Jazz Festival, March 13-14.

The two-day festival opens Friday, March 13, with an 8 p.m. concert that will feature Blake playing with the Amherst Jazz Orchestra under the direction of David Sporny on the stage of the Leslie Phillips Theater in the HCC Fine & Performing Arts building.

The festival will continue on Saturday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Leslie Phillips Theater with big band and jazz combo performances by high school and HCC jazz students. Jazz clinics, workshops and jam sessions will be held throughout the day in the HCC Recital Hall (FPA building, Room 137).

Ron Blake will conduct two music clinics, one at 11 a.m. and another at 1 p.m.  A concluding concert will be held in the theater Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m. with Blake performing with a select combo of students representing each of the participating high schools, HCC students and festival faculty. 

Tickets for the Friday night concert are $15 (general public), $10 (senior and non-HCC students) and $7 for members of the HCC community (students, staff and faculty) with a valid ID. 

All Saturday events are free and open to the public. Individuals who wish to participate in workshops will be charged a nominal registration fee.Also on Saturday, Gerry's Music in South Hadley will have a display booth showcasing instruments, music and accessories.   

For information, contact Robert Ferrier at (413) 552-2480 or 

About Ron Blake:

Multi-talented saxophonist Ron Blake inhabits many worlds. As a professor of saxophone and Jazz studies at the Juilliard School of Music and member of the Saturday Night Live band, he is one of the leading jazz saxophonists in the world today. He also performs with the Grammy-winning Christian McBride Big Band, Roy Hargrove, Art Farmer, Spirit Music Jamia, Red, Hot + Riot, and the Grammy- nominated, Latin pop group Yerba Buena. Originally from the Virgin Islands, the New York City resident  is a band leader with three albums and some 50-plus recordings as a side man to his credit.

PHOTO courtesy of RON BLAKE: Ron Blake