The Minot Public Schools will present the Magic City Jazz Festival beginning at 7 p.m. Friday in Minot State University's Ann Nicole Nelson Hall.
Featured performers include Thomas Ashworth on trombone and George Maurer on piano as well as performances by The Swing Band of Minot and The Minot Public Schools Jazz Ensembles. Admission for the event is $7 for adults and teens, $5 for ages 7 to 12, and free of charge for ages 6 and younger.
Ashworth is the professor of trombone at the University of Minnesota and has served on the faculty at the Canberra School of Music in Australia and the University of Kansas. His students have enjoyed success as public school and university educators, orchestral and military ensemble musicians and freelance performers and teachers.
Submitted Photo - - Jazz pianist George Maurer, who once played with late rocker Buddy Holly’s band The Crickets, gained recognition playing as frontman to The George Maurer Jazz Group Trio and Variety Group.
A former member of the Kansas City Symphony, Ashworth has also performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Ashworth has performed, toured and recorded with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra since 1990. Summer festival appearances have included the Grand Teton Music Festival, Rafael Mendez Brass Institute, Brevard Music Festival and the Wintergreen Music Festival.
Ashworth has degrees from the University of North Texas and California State University-Fresno. He has studied with Lawrence Sutherland, Vern Kagarice, Christian Lindberg and Michael Mulcahy.
Maurer has performed in a diverse number of venues. His current itinerary includes a ballet, a jazz opera, pop orchestra arrangements and music direction for a cast of Tony Award-winning Broadway actors.
Maurer is best known as a jazz pianist and composer as both a solo artist and with the George Maurer Jazz Group Trio and Variety Group, according to promotional materials. In the past, he was the keyboardist for the late Buddy Holly's band the Crickets and toured England with Minnesota-based pop icon Bobby Vee. Maurer has also been invited to New York to arrange charts for the Chiffons and music direct, arrange and perform at a Buddy Holly tribute at the House of Blues on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip.
His music direction has set the soundtrack for a long list of productions, including Chanhassen Dinner Theaters' "Altar Boys" and "Swing!" Among Maurer's writing credits is the original score for "Enticed," a piece he wrote on commission for St. Paul City Ballet.
St. Paul City Ballet performed one of his compositions for modern ballet in January. His first opera, "Empire Builder," premiered in early February. He is putting the finishing touches on four pop arrangements for the Minnesota Orchestra's "Springtime in Paris" March 3 concert and begins work as the new music director for the Gershwin Foundation's premiere of the music of Harold Arlen with the Minnesota Orchestra June 29. he heads out on tour in early March as the new music director and arranger for the Midtown Men, starring the four former leads from Broadway's Tony-awarded "Jersey Boys" cast. Maurer will be arranging their show for full orchestra. In the midst of it all, he is writing a script and hiring actors, dancers, musicians and a choreographer for a stage production of "For the Sake of a Single Poem," a song cycle based on the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke that he will be bringing to the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival Sept. 20-23.