Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival

Department of Music


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Ingrid Jensen & Christine Jensen

44th Annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival March 17-18, 2017

It is my pleasure to announce that the 44th Annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival will be held on the UMD campus, Friday and Saturday, March 17th and 18th, 2017.  This festival will be non-competitive in nature, offering positive, learning-based experiences for young jazz ensembles and includes many outstanding performances.

Sincerely, Ryan Frane

Register Here Today!

This two-day festival will feature:

Ingrid Jensen and Christine Jensen Quintet

FRIDAY, March 17th at 7:30pm - Weber Music Hall
Adult $16 | Senior $11 | UMD Faculty/Staff $9 | Student $8 | UMD Student $6

Ingrid Jensen: Born in Vancouver and raised in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Ingrid Jensen has been hailed as one of the most gifted trumpeters of her generation.  After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1989, she recorded three highly acclaimed CD's for the ENJA record label, soon becoming one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the global jazz scene.  After a teaching stint in Europe in her early twenties (as the youngest professor in the history of the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz, Austria), Ingrid settled in New York City in the mid-1990's where she joined the innovative jazz orchestras of Maria Schneider and Darcy James Argue.

Ingrid Jensen

More recently, Ingrid has been performing with the Grammy-winning Terri-Lyne Carrington and her Mosaic Project.  Ingrid is a featured soloist on the Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra's JUNO award winning album "Treelines" (2011) and its successor, Habitat (2013).  She has performed with a multi-generational cast of jazz legends ranging from Clark Terry to Esperanza Spalding.  Ingrid's performing accomplishments are many!

Ingrid is also a dedicated jazz educator.  She has taught trumpet a the University of Michigan and Peabody Conservatory, performed and lectured as a guest artist with the Thelonious Monk Institute  High School group featuring Herbie Hancock, The Centrum Jazz Workshop, The Dave Brubeck Institute, the Banff Centre Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music, Geri Allen's All-Female Jazz Residency and the Stanford Jazz Camp, to name a few.

One of Ingrid’s most frequent and closest collaborators is her sister, saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen. In addition to Christine’s Jazz Orchestra, they co-lead the group Nordic Connect with pianist Maggi Olin.

Christine Jensen

Montreal-based saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen has been described as, “an original voice on the international jazz scene… [and] one of Canada’s most compelling composers,” by Mark Miller of the Globe and Mail. According to Greg Buium of Downbeat Magazine, “Jensen writes in three dimensions, with a quiet kind of authority that makes the many elements cohere. Wayne Shorter, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler come to mind.” After a performance at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival, Scott Yanow wrote, “She’s rapidly developing into a major force … as a player and as a writer.”

Christine Jensen

As an adjudicator, clinician, and instructor at McGill, Christine is influencing the next generation of composers and players.  In her travels abroad, she has shared her love of music and invaluable experience with young jazz enthusiasts around the world, from Norway to Peru, Turkey to Montreal and back home on the West Coast.  Christine has alawys been active in jazz education, leading clinics and workshops and adjudicating.

Christine Jensen was born in Sechelt, British Columbia, in 1970, growing up in Nanaimo among some of Canada’s finest musicians, including Phil Dwyer, Diana Krall, blues guitarist, David Gogo, and her sister Ingrid. Her pianist/mother raised her daughters on music, exposing them to everything from Chopin to Broadway to Big Bands. Jensen’s first love was the piano, developing an individual style influenced by two greats: “I freaked out over Oscar Peterson and … Bill Evans was a big epiphany when I was a teenager, as a musician who created an impressionistic sound.” Once she started studying the saxophone at age 12, she quickly grew to love it as she realized that she could create her own voice through that instrument.

Ernie Watts with the UMD Jazz I and the Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival All-Stars

Ernie Watts

SATURDAY, March 18th at 5:30pm - Marshall Performing Arts Center
Adult $16 | Senior $11 | UMD Faculty/Staff $9 | Student $8 | UMD Student $6

Ernie Watts: “He is one of the greatest living tenor saxophonists, at the top of his game.” Ian Patterson   / All About Jazz

Two-time Grammy Award winner Ernie Watts is one of the most versatile and prolific saxophone players in music.  It has been more than fifty years since he first picked up a saxophone, and from age sixteen on he has been playing professionally, initially while still attending school.  Watts has been featured on over 500 recordings by artists ranging from Cannonball Adderley to Frank Zappa, always exhibiting his unforgettable trademark sound.   In 2014, Watts received the prestigious Frankfurt Music Prize given by the city of Frankfurt, Germany. It is presented to both classical and non-classical musicians. Of the 32 current winners, only 6 have been jazz musicians. Per the Frankfurt Music Prize Foundation, Watts was “selected for his strikingly melodic saxophone style and his original tone language, with which he has already enriched several generations of musicians.”  Previous jazz honorees include Chick Corea, Paquito D’Rivera, and John McLaughlin.  In 2015, Watts was selected as Guest of Honor at the Telluride Jazz Festival in Colorado, and played on the Ernie Watts Main Stage with his own Quartet.

Watts started playing saxophone at age 13 in Wilmington, Delaware.  He went with a friend who was joining the local school music program, and found himself carrying home an instrument too.  “I was a self-starter; no one ever had to tell me to practice,” remembers Watts.  His discipline combined with natural talent began to shape his life.  He won a scholarship to the Wilmington Music School where he studied classical music and technique.  Though they had no jazz program,  his mother provided the spark by giving him his own record player plus a record club membership, for Christmas.  That first record club promotional selection turned out to be the brand-new Miles Davis album Kind of Blue.  “When I first heard John Coltrane play, it was like someone put my hand into a light socket,” Watts says.   He started to learn jazz by ear, often falling asleep at night listening to a stack of Coltrane records.  Although he would enroll briefly at West Chester University in music education, he soon won a Downbeat Scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston,  renowned for jazz.  

The Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival will also include

*Performances by UMD Jazz Ensembles

*40 minutes of individualized time for your ensemble.  Most ensembles perform for about twenty minutes and are then critiqued by two clinicians for another 20 minutes.

*Adjudicators.  Including leading jazz educators from colleges across the country to adjudicate and clinic your ensembles and directors.  Recent Adjudicators have included: Billy Taylor, Gnee Aitken (UNC), Bob Kase (UWSP), Tom Matta (DePaul University), Bob Kleinschmidt (Tiffin University), John Salerno (UWGB), Terry Vermillion (St. Cloud State), CJ Kocher (USD) and many others!

*Non-competitive atmosphere.  This positive, instruction-oriented approach has become a hallmark of the Head of the Lakes Festival.  No trophies or defeats, just jazz music, hard work and fun!

*Clinics. Numerous clinics will be given by the guest artists, UMD jazz faculty and by our adjudicators, all of whom are recognized leaders in their fields.

*Scholarships. The unique opportunity for instrumentalists to audition for scholarship awards to attend the University of Minnesota Duluth as a Music Major!

*Prizes. Performance certificates and prizes will be awarded to individuals who offer outstanding performances during the day.

Please register for the festival online by the February 15th deadline so we can hold a spot for your ensemble(s) at this year's festival.  The fee for participants will be $200.00 per ensemble.  We will fill performance spots on a first-come-first-serve basis so please get your reservation form in early. 

Upon receipt of your registration fee, we will contact you regarding hotel rates and other details.

I look forward to seeing you this year and to hearing your ensembles perform.  If you have any questions regarding the festival, please feel free to contact me at 218.726.6327, or by email at rfrane@d.umn.edu.

Sincerely, Ryan Frane

Register for the Festival Here