Jim Widner | St. Louis Public Radio

Jim Widner

The annual Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival returns a little earlier than usual, but with an all-star lineup.

Clark Terry
Clark Terry's website

In April 2006, jazz trumpeter and St. Louis native Clark Terry talked to "Cityscape" host Steve Potter about his upcoming performance at the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival.

By then, Clark was widely regarded as a legend. He was a star soloist with Count Basie's and Duke Ellington's bands, led his own big band, and was the first black man to play in "The Tonight Show" house band.

Clark Terry still played his horn upside down in the late 1980s.
From his autobiography

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - In his 2006 book, “City of Gabriels: The History of Jazz in St. Louis, 1895-1973,” Dennis Owsley explains the title and the theme of his book in the opening sentence of his introduction: “Trumpet players have shaped the sound and the direction of St. Louis jazz from the beginning.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Ten years ago, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival made its debut on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Over the past decade, the festival has grown in length, evening concert performances, and the number of name jazz artists featured in those concerts.

But for Jim Widner, director of jazz studies at UMSL and founder of the festival, the most important aspect of the growth of the event is the increase in students who attend the several days of jazz combo and big band clinics that happen before those evening concerts.