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April 5 - April 7

(SPRINGFIELD,MO, March 15, 2024) ––– Jazz Master Branford Marsalis will headline the inaugural Gillioz Jazz Festival, performing with the Missouri Jazz Orchestra (MOJO) on Saturday, April 6, 2024.

New Orleans-born Branford Marsalis is an award-winning saxophonist, band leader, featured classical soloist, and a film and Broadway composer. In the process, he has become a multi award-winning artist with three Grammys, a citation by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master and an avatar of contemporary artistic excellence.

The Missouri Jazz Orchestra (MOJO) was founded in 2009 as an ensemble of professional musicians and music educators with a passion for the past, present and future on an original American art form, Jazz. MOJO became a 501c-3 non-profit resident company of the Gillioz in 2023.

Marsalis will perform with the Missouri Jazz Orchestra (MOJO) as the headlining component of the inaugural Gillioz Jazz Festival. The three-day event recognizes Jazz Appreciation Month as originated at the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.. The intent for Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) is intended to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz - to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.

The weekend festivities begin as the Gillioz will host an open house on Friday, April 5 with an art display of jazz masters licensed by the Smithsonian Institution and a playlist of those masters to enhance the experience. There will be tours of the historic theatre at 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM. Those tours have limited spaces and will fill on a first come-first serve basis. There will be a premium bar open and food truck offerings from Don Tono Mexican Food and Smore-ish Killer Desserts. The Gallery located on the second floor will be available to tour, as will THETHIRDFLOOR - the newest addition featuring a collaborative space that houses resident companies the Ozarks Lyric Opera, Missouri Jazz Orchestra (MOJO), SATO48 and Gillioz administration. Screenings from SATO48 and art will be on display.

Saturday, April 6 the Gillioz Jazz Cafe' stage will be showcasing regional talent from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Performers include the Hamm/Aho/Bohrisch Trio, the Matt Harp Trio, the John Strickler Trio, the Brant Jester Trio, and the Arthur Duncan Trio. The premium bar and food trucks will be available as well.

The Gallery at the Gillioz will host a special VIP event at 6:30 PM with an exclusive program featuring the Eric Slaughter Trio from St. Louis and a meal from Simply Delicious prior to seeing Marsalis and MOJO take the historic stage at 8:00 PM. The VIP event includes reserve seating front and center for the Marsalis/MOJO concert. Seating is limited to this special event. This portion of the festival requires a ticket. Details on ticketing can be found at gillioz.org

The weekend culminates in a screening of the 1939 family classic, The Wizard of Oz at 2:00 PM Sunday, April 7. The film has significant jazz influences and remains a favorite for generations of viewers. Doors will open at 1:00 PM. This screening will be free and open to the public.

The Gillioz Jazz Festival is intended to coordinate with national promotion of jazz and will augment the commitment to the Springfield Jazz Festival that is held each fall. The Gillioz has provided the national headliner for that event the last several years.

"Our commitment to the Springfield Jazz Festival is intact. We will continue to bring the biggest jazz names to our historic stage to headline that festival as well. We have secured our headliner for the fall festival and will announce that at the Marsalis/MOJO concert. The Gillioz Jazz Festival allows us to move in conjunction with national promotion of jazz, and to creatively expand our programming. A notable difference is the Gillioz Jazz Festival is entirely indoors, taking advantage of the diverse spaces in the Gillioz beyond the theatre and insulating our activities from the uncertainty of weather in the Ozarks." Said Geoff Steele, Executive Director of the Gillioz Center for Arts & Entertainment.

More information on the Gillioz Jazz Festival and all Gillioz programming can be found online at gillioz.org or by calling Gillioz Ticketing Services at 417-863-9491.


April 5
April 7
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