25th Annual Campana Jazz Festival Coming in March

Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti will cap off a day of high-energy music by 30 California high school jazz ensembles at the 25th Annual Campana Jazz Festival, on Saturday, March 11. The event is sponsored by the Amador Friends of Music, a boosters club at Amador Valley High School. The festival, including the evening performance by Vizzutti, is open to the public.

Dennis Aquilina, AVHS music director, says the event gives students pride in their accomplishments. "It also teaches them how important jazz is in our culture. It's music that originated here in America."

The popular event, chaired by AVHS parent Sue Hanau, will be held all day at the school. There will be judging of the ensembles, additional free student music clinics, and a free music clinic by Vizzutti that is open to anyone in the community.

Hanau is upbeat about the event. "The quality of the music is outstanding. These groups are as close to professional as you can get."

Attending the festival will be it,s originator, Jim Campana, AVHS music director from 1959 to 1980. He laughs when he talks about the event's soggy beginning.

"The City of Pleasanton Recreation Department asked me to start a jazz festival and the first one was held at the outdoor amphitheater at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Well, there were 25 groups scheduled to play, and after the first two, it started to rain." The audience was soaked. The entire production was moved to the fair's exhibition hall, where the show went on.

The festival is also seeking businesses which would like to support this local tradition. For more information, call Sue Hanau at (925) 462-1345 or Dennis Aquilina at (925) 461-6196.

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