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Darrell Green and Matt Otto

Master drummer Darrell Green and saxophonist Matt Otto will headline MSUB’s Jazz Festival on Feb. 7.

Montana State University Billings jazz students will share the stage with headliners Matt Otto and Darrell Green during the university’s Jazz Festival on Feb. 7.

According to a news release, the 20-student ensemble will perform with Kansas City jazz saxophonist Matt Otto and Darrell Green, a premier drummer of the New York City and international scene, as part of the festival’s finale concert at 7 p.m. in Petro Theatre on the university campus.

Otto is the co-founder of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective. Having lived in Japan, New York City and Los Angeles, Otto has performed with a variety of artists. Otto now lives in Kansas City where he is the assistant professor of jazz studies at Kansas University, teaching jazz theory and performance, jazz combo and private lessons. Otto is also an adjunct professor at the Rutgers New Brunswick teaching online courses in jazz improvisation, theory and performance.

Over a career that has spanned more than two decades, Oakland, California-native Green has become a master drummer and prolific sideman, sharing stages with leading jazz artists. Though jazz is his primary focus, Green is conversant in every genre, from straight-ahead jazz to Latin and West African music. He performs all over the world with his trio and quartet. Green is one of the most in-demand drummers in New York, Europe and Japan.

The fifth annual Jazz Festival also includes clinicians Brennan Baglio, jazz vocalist; Eric Richards, trombonist; and Kelly Berdahl, Bozeman High band director, who will be adjudicating the 20 college, high school and middle school bands throughout the day’s clinics, which will start at 9 a.m. in Cisel Hall and Petro Theatre.

Spots are still available for interested jazz choir and jazz band groups to participate. All groups, at any level, are welcome.

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The performances and clinics are open to the public. Tickets to the evening concert are $10 for general admission. MSUB faculty and students are admitted free with ID. Tickets will be sold at the door.

For more information, or to register a group, go to msubillings.edu/jazz.

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