DEARBORN — The Henry Ford Community College Big Band will serve as the opening concert performance at the 2011 Detroit International Jazz Festival at 5:15 p.m. Friday. The Big Band also will be the backup band for five-time Grammy Award winner Gary Smulyan on the Campus Martius Stage.
Rick Goward, director of the HFCC Big Band, said members are thrilled to open this extraordinary festival and to serve as Smulyan’s band during his performance.
“I think these opportunities speak to the dedication, hard work and talent of our band members,” Goward said. “We could not think of a better opportunity to display the HFCC Big Band in this international festival, and we’re extremely proud to continue our participation for 2011.”
Smulyan is considered to be one of the most outstanding baritone saxophonists in the world. He has played with numerous internationally recognized artists and bands, including Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd, Mel Lewis, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and Dizzy Gillespie.
The 2011 festival is sponsored by the Detroit Jazz Festival, which is a major cultural institution providing year-round concerts and educational programming that culminates in Detroit International Jazz Festival on Labor Day weekend.
To learn more about the 2011 Detroit International Jazz Festival, go to http://detroitjazzfest.com/about.html. For more information about the HFCC Big Band, contact Goward at (313) 570-5501 or via email at [email protected]