Marshall to host Huntington Summer Music Festival June 21-22

Updated 45 weeks ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Marshall to host Huntington Summer Music Festival June 21-22

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University will host the Huntington Summer Music Festival June 21-22 at Pullman Square, carrying on a new jazz music tradition that began in the summer of 2018 with the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition.


The jazz piano competition will return to Huntington in two years, but in the meantime, Marshall’s School of Music will keep celebrating jazz each June by offering performances, education and community events. Along with performances from world-renowned and local jazz musicians, this year’s festival will feature a bier garten, a jazz art exhibit, and an instrument petting zoo for children and other festival-goers.


The Huntington Summer Music Festival goes on in conjunction with the Jazz-MU-Tazz summer jazz camp at Marshall, which provides student jazz players opportunities to take master classes, get intensive jazz instruction and see performances by internationally recognized jazz performers.


Among the performers at this year’s festival will be the winner of last year’s Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition, Ben Paterson of Philadelphia. Last year, Paterson competed in Huntington and was chosen as the top performer among seven finalists for the competition, chosen from 160 jazz pianists from around the world. 


The Ben Paterson Trio will perform as the headline act for this year’s festival. Other headliners will be the Jewel City Jazz Orchestra and the Reggie Watkins Quintet. Watkins is an internationally renowned trombonist who has performed or recorded with greats such as The Temptations, trumpet virtuoso Maynard Ferguson and pop star Jason Mraz.


Marshall students, high-schoolers who participated in the Jazz-MU-Tazz camp, and students from schools throughout the region will perform as part of the festival as well.


“One of our goals is to provide exposure to high quality jazz music to the Huntington and Tri-State areas,” said Dr. Martin Saunders, director of jazz studies at Marshall. “We also want to assist with jazz education opportunities and outreach for the local region.”

As part of the festival, there will be a jazz art exhibit in Marshall’s Visual Arts Center at 927 3rd Avenue, across the street from Pullman Square. 

For more information about the festival, contact Saunders by phone at 304-696-4316 or by e-mail at

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