WIU College of Fine Arts and Communication
and BCA present headliner:

Al Chez & The Brothers of Funk
Hainline Theatre, WIU

Presented by BCA tickets are required:

  Al Chez, well known for playing over 25 years on Late Night and The Late Show with David Letterman, appearing on both NBC & CBS. Second longest network TV trumpet player second only to Doc Severenson with over 2800 Shows. He toured with Tower of Power, Bon Jovi, Robert Cray, Young Rascals, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Maynard Ferguson, Eric Clapton,Dave Edmunds Band, Ben E King, Sam & Dave to name a few. His performances include two presidential inagurations, world tours, over 25 Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Special concerts include the Concert for NY, Concert of The Century,John Lennon's 50th Birthday, Closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympics as well as multiple concerts at the White House, offering his extrodinary skills for fundraiser events. Al Chez formed his own band back in 2008, called the Brothers of Funk Big Band, and continues touring with them as well as giving back with band clinics and drum corps. Al Chez recently released his first CD, Chapter One: Reinvented featuring his own take on many classic Rock and Standards as well as his first original song release: "For Your Love".

2014 Community Service
Award Recipient

  Al Sears Store  

2015 ASJF Kick-off!
Western Illinois Museum (201 S Lafayette St, Macomb, IL 61455)

This year's festival kicks off at the Western Illinois Museum at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 18, with "Journey to Jazz," featuring Semenya McCord and Frank Wilkins. This lively and informative musical presentation will provide a great introduction to jazz generally and to Ms. McCord's personal road to becoming a jazz vocalist. A graduate of Knox College, she spent many years as a jazz performer and educator in Boston before recently returning to Galesburg, where she continues her busy schedule playing and teaching jazz. For more information, check WIM's website or call 309-837-2750. (And be sure to ask about "The Girls in the Band," a 2014 documentary the Museum will be screening on Wednesday evening, September 16!)

Jazz in the Club
Macomb Country Club (20 Hickory Grove, Macomb, IL 61455)

Michael Stryker Trio

Michael Stryker is Associate Professor of Jazz Piano in the School of Music at Western Illinois University. He directs big bands and coaches jazz combos, teaches Applied Jazz Piano, Class Jazz Piano, Jazz Fundamentals, and Jazz History. He is currently a member of the Dale Hopper Faculty Jazz Sextet. Dr. Stryker received his Ph.D. from Eastman School of Music in 2010. He has performed with Freddie Hubbard, Jim Snidero, Robin Eubanks, James Moody, John Fedchock, Kim Richmond, Clay Jenkins, Gary Foster, Bob Mintzer and Joshua Breakstone.


Sally Weisenburg Trio
For the uninitiated, Sally is from the St Louis area but moved to Peoria, Illinois in 1976.  She now lives near Rushville, Il and has played music professionally for all of her years in Illinois.  Sally's musical inspiration has never been based on style, rather the music she plays has to do with quality.  Sally plays "good" music.  That includes blues, soul, jazz, country, standards, rock, Latin, surf and good music from any & all categories.   She is in that exclusive league with those who have been her influences - a truly great natural singer.  She is also in that rare position of an artist who has earned the great respect of her peers.  Sally also plays keyboards and keyboard bass in the band and is joined on stage by her her husband, Don Berbaum on guitar & steel guitar and Tony Corpus on drums.

"This is a group of seasoned pros who know how to let a song breathe” - Blues Review Magazine

Jazz in the Park
(Rain venue: The Outskirts)
Chandler Park - Downtown

Semenya McCord Quartet (10:00am and 1:00pm)
A vocalist/music educator/composer, earned her degree in Music Education from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Her popular musician father, the late Ken Henderson, was an early and significant influence on her desire to sing and touch people through music. At the University of Massachusetts in Amherst she was turned on to the powerful traditions of gospel music with Horace C. Boyer and of jazz with master drummer Max Roach and reedman Archie Shepp.


  The Brazilionaires

Brazilionaires (11:00am and 2:00pm)
The Brazilionaires music is an infectious, jazzy mix of sambas, bossa novas, & other Latin grooves which can be heard on radio & streaming sites like Pandora & Spotify, The band engages the audience with a dynamic stage show and are known to perform unique Latin versions of rock/pop hits, to the delight of the crowd. Fronted by vocalist Dove Benoit and guitarist Rico Wayne Johnson, and backed by Todd Kelly (trumpet), Andy Crawford (bass), Carlos Bopp (flute/accordion) & Tom Marko, Cha Cha Torres (percussion).


  Billy Rogers and Dixie Daredevils (12 noon, 3:00pm)
Led by John Sluzalis of Springfield, Illinois on drums, The Daredevils include Terry Brennan on Piano and three former Merchant Street Rowdies stalwarts: Harlan Geiser and Charlie Stokes on trombone, and Tom Gleason on Trumpet. Perry Rask on sax and John Miller on bass round out The 'Devils. The fine vocalist Billy Rogers will be a special added attraction at the Al Sears Jazz Festival.

WIU Jazz Studio Orchestra w/ Guest Artist Andy Baker (4:00pm)
Born and raised in London, trombonist Andy Baker was performing professionally at the age of 14 and had appeared on recordings and TV shows by 18. Andy toured extensively, performing at major jazz festivals and clubs across the world before relocating to Chicago in 2001. Quickly establishing a reputation as one of the most versatile musicians in town, Andy performs and records with many of Chicago's finest jazz and contemporary music ensembles, is the musical director of the New standard Jazz Orchestra, a member of Fulcrum Point, and leads his own sextet. Andy's recorded compositions and arrangements include works for brass ensembles, jazz orchestras, rock bands and commercial television. Andy is an Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Jazz Studio Orchestra

The Jazz Studio Orchestra is the top performing large jazz ensemble at Western Illinois University. The group performs a wide range of music, including contemporary jazz by such composers as Jim McNeely, Chuck Owen, Maria Schneider and many others. Directed by Dr. John Cooper, the JSO has performed at many festivals as well as leading venues such as Chicago's Jazz Showcase and Green Mill, and Carnegie Hall in New York. Joining the JSO as guest soloist will be Andy Baker, musical director of the New Standard Jazz Orchestra and one of Chicago's top jazz trombonists, composers and arrangers.

Sunday Jazz Brunch
American Legion Hall (221 E Washington St, Macomb, IL 61455)

Featuring live jazz by Billy Rogers and Dixie Daredevils
The ASJF closes on Sunday, September 20, with a New Orleans-style brunch at the American Legion in downtown Macomb. Proceeds from the brunch will benefit both the ASJF and our local American Legion. Delicious Cajun and traditional breakfast fare will be served from 10:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. Adding spice to this festive, family-friendly meal are the Dixie Daredevils, Featuring Special Guest Billy Rogers, who will be performing great jazz for all ages. There will also be a special beverage, "Searious Juice," that will be available only at the American Legion brunch, and purchasers will get to keep the commemorative "Al Sears Jazz Festival" glass! For more information, stop by the American Legion or call 309-833-2951.

The Al Sears Jazz Festival, MACC
214 N. Lafayette Street Macomb, IL 61455
Phone: 309-837-4855