PULLMAN, Wash. — Vocalist Sunny Wilkinson and trumpeter Tim Acosta will highlight the Washington State University Jazz Festival on Nov. 6.
The festival events, including a 5 p.m. gala concert, are planned for Bryan Hall Auditorium and open to the public without charge.
Wilkinson is considered an inventive, sometimes mischievous vocal stylist who likes to toy with rhythm and tonal color. Her wide range, marvelous intonation, effortless agility and passion for what she sings give her music depth and freshness, said Gregory Yasinitsky of the School of Music and Theatre Arts. She has performed with the Count Basie Band, Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Ernie Watts, John Pattatucci, Bill Watrous and Marvin Stamm. She regularly presents concerts and clinics throughout the United States.
Wilkinson serves as chairperson of the International Association of Jazz Educators Woman’s Caucus and teaches jazz voice at Michigan State University and Western Michigan University. Her latest CD is “High Wire.”
Acosta, from the San Francisco Bay area, is a first-call lead trumpeter. He has performed with the top artists in the jazz world, including Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, George Shearing, Ella Fitzgerald and Tito Puente. He has performed in the orchestras for 60 Broadway musicals, including “Show Boat,” “Jolsen The Musical,” “Miss Saigon” and “Chorus Line.”
Acosta is featured on the Linda Rondstadt platinum album, “Cry Like a Rainstorm”; the New Oakland Jazz Orchestra’s latest CD; the Strokeland Horns’ “Superband” CD with Tower of Power alumni; and numerous radio and television spots.
The pair will perform with the award-winning WSU Jazz Big Band, directed by Yasinitsky, and the WSU VoJazz vocal jazz ensemble, directed by Horace-Alexander Young.
The festival also will feature high school groups from throughout the Northwest. From
9 a.m.-noon, high school ensembles will be presenting adjudicated performances. During the noon hour, Jazz Northwest, the WSU faculty group featuring saxophonist Yasinitsky, vocalist and woodwind artist Young, pianist Charles Argersinger, drummer David Jarvis and bassist Gus Kambeitz, will present a short concert. From 1-4 p.m., high school ensembles will be heard in adjudicated performances.
The festival is made possible in part by a grant from the WSU Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Committee.