April 11, 2024 Jazz Festival
Instrumental and vocal jazz ensembles of all levels are cordially invited to participate in the 19th Annual SDSU/Brookings Optimist Jazz Festival! The Festival will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at the expanded Performing Arts Center.
Remember the name Camille Thurman. As a composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and unique interpreter of the jazz tradition, she is quickly becoming one of the standard bearers for the form, making a considerable and dynamic contribution to the legacy of jazz while paying tribute to its heroes.
Fluid and powerful on the tenor saxophone and highly inventive as a vocalist, she also plays bass clarinet, flute, and piccolo. Her rich sax sound has been compared to Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon, while her vocal approach—including an impressive scatting ability—has been classified alongside those of Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter.
In the increasingly popular world of a cappella singing groups, Accent has carved out its own niche. Inspired by the wizardly jazz harmonies of TAKE 6 and, before them, The Hi-Lo’s, the six singers of Accent, all of them accomplished arrangers and instrumentalists in their own right, are taking their love of close-harmony jazz singing – the denser and more intricate the better – as far as it can go.
The improbable meeting of Jean-Baptiste (“JB”) Craipeau (France), Simon Åkesson (Sweden), Danny Fong (Canada), Andrew Kesler (Canada), James Rose (England), and Evan Sanders (USA), six self-described “jazz vocal nerds,” could have happened only in the age of social media. After becoming long-distance fans of each other’s multi-tracked videos on YouTube, they joined forces in 2011, collaborating online on songs and videos.
Since then, they have released 5 albums, performed at the London A Cappella Festival, played dates across Europe, North America and Asia, and were featured in 2 sold-out Christmas shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Their singular blend and arrangements have been acclaimed by a cappella devotees and fellow musicians alike, including Cedric Dent of TAKE 6 and Clark Burroughs of The Hi-Lo’s.