BLACKFOOT â€”Jazz music gets toes tapping and fingers snapping. On Saturday the Intermountain Jazz Festival comes to town.
Ten high school and middle school jazz bands from Southeastern Idaho will each perform for 30 minutes before three judges. Student performances are open to the public and are free of charge.
The Four Freshmen will entertain at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center that night. The cost of that concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., is $20 for adults and $15 for students.
Brian Eichenberger, Curtis Calderon, Vince Johnson and Bob Ferreira are the current incarnation of the group, which began 62 years ago.
The students will also take part in jazz workshops taught by clinicians Jon Gudmunson from Utah State University, and Aaron Miller and Wilson Brown from BYU-Idaho. These workshops will be on rhythm and improvisation.
The Four Freshmen will also speak with the students about jazz style and how they got into the music business. At 5 p.m. Jazz House Big Band, a local jazz band led by Doug Waring will perform.
"Doing jazz is a little like rock climbing," Blackfoot Band Director Jan Eddington said. "The more you do it; the better you get and the more exciting it is."
From Blackfoot, high school and middle school band students will participate at the Jazz Festival.
"The more the students perform; the more they learn," Eddington said. "To be a soloist in front of your peers and before judges is a thrilling experience when it goes well."
The judges are Jason Nicholson from Utah State University, Ryan Nielsen from Brigham Young University-Idaho and Zach Poulter from Syracuse, Utah.