Today, Hudson will become the jazz center of Northeast Ohio. The sleepy suburb’s high school will hold its 10th annual Hudson Jazz Festival throughout the day and into the evening.
The first phase of the festival begins at 9 a.m. with possible glimpses of the future of the local jazz scene, as the Hudson High School auditorium welcomes jazz bands from Hudson High, Hudson Middle School and talented young musicians from schools in Solon and Stow performing until 4 p.m.
Later in the evening at 7 p.m., Oklahoma-bred, New York-based trombonist Conrad Herwig will perform. Herwig is a 30-plus-year veteran who is well versed in Latin jazz, known for his virtuosity and fiery performances as a leader, and his resume as a sideman is colored with many impressive names.
Among the artists Herwig has performed or recorded with are Elvis Costello, guitarist Al Di Meola, saxophonist Bill Evans, singer Marianne Faithfull and Miles Davis. Herwig, who is also a composer and arranger, has released more than 20 albums as a bandleader and has received plenty of critical kudos for his series of tribute releases The Latin Side of … featuring Latin jazz arrangements of classics from music legends such as Davis, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. Herwig’s most recent release is a 2011 trio album The Tip of the Sword.
Joining Herwig on the bandstand will be a septet of well-seasoned professionals from the area, including former Cleveland Jazz Orchestra leader trumpeter Jack Schantz, recording artist and saxophonist Bobby Selvaggio, pianist Rock Wehrmann, bassist Dave Morgan, drummer Mark Gondor, Akron guitarist Jeremey Poparad and singer Katherine Lauson-Iriarte.
Opening the show will be the school’s homegrown, student jazz group Jazz I, led by Hudson High’s orchestra director Roberto Iriarte.