The 15th annual Southern Illinois Music Festival opens May 24, and The Varsity is hosting the first event of the annual celebration created and directed by Edward Benyas, professor and conductor of the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra at Southern Illinois University.
Tickets for the Friday evening opening reception include a concert by the New Arts Jazztet and hors d’oeuvres. The Varsity Bar will be selling beer, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. Tickets are $25.
The New Arts Jazztet has long been regarded as Southern Illinois' premier jazz group. The NAJ is in residence at Southern Illinois University, where all but one of its members are School of Music faculty. Its current line-up is Dick Kelley, reeds; Bob Allison, trumpet/flugelhorn; Isaac Lausell, guitars; Phil Brown, bass; and Jimmy Beers, drums/percussion.
$25 - includes concert and hors d'oeuvres Tickets for the opening reception and all other 2019 festival performances are available at the SIU Ticket Office, online at www.sifest.com/buy-tickets, and at the door of each performance. Patrons may also purchase a non-transferable SIFest pass, through the SIU ticket office for $100.