UA JazzFest highlights Cleveland native Dominick Farinacci

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Cleveland native Dominick Farinacci -- a rising star who has earned the respect and support of jazz greats Wynton Marsalis and Quincy Jones -- is bringing his trumpet home to Northeast Ohio for The University of Akron's JazzFest 2014 on March 18 through 21.

UA's JazzFest 2014 opens March 18 at 8 p.m. in Guzzetta Recital Hall, 157 University Ave., with a concert featuring UA student jazz ensembles. The second concert, on March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Stage Door of E.J. Thomas Hall, features UA faculty and students performing Miles Davis' groundbreaking work, "The Birth of Cool."

Farinacci performs with the UA Faculty Jazz Combo on March 20 and the UA Student Jazz Ensemble on March 21. Both of those concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Stage Door of E.J. Thomas Hall, 198 Hill St. on campus.

The March 18 concert is free. The three Stage Door concerts on March 19 through 21 are $12 for general admission and free for UA students with ZipCard. JazzFest concerts at the Stage Door often sell out, so advance purchase of tickets is suggested. Visit www.uaevents.com or call the Thomas Hall Ticket Office at 330-972-7570.

EJ's Stage Door is an intimate setting with club seating. To complement the concerts, light fare and bar beverages are available for purchase. Entry is through the blue door on Hill Street, beginning one hour before each concert.

Dominick Farinacci began playing the trumpet at age 11 in Solon. When Farinacci was 17, Wynton Marsalis heard him play in Cleveland and invited him to New York City to perform with him on a special PBS broadcast of "Live from Lincoln Center."

Farinacci has won numerous awards, including the International New Star Award (along with vocalist Diana Krall and bassist Christian McBride) and the Disney New Star Award. In January 2012 he was featured on an hour-long segment of NPR's "Jazz Rising Stars."

Launching his recording career overseas with a prolific run of six albums from 2003-2007 on Japan's Pony Canyon/M&I Records, Farinacci expanded his international appeal in 2009 when he was invited to perform at the O2 in London, opening for Jamie Cullum and Jeff Beck. In 2012 he was invited by Wynton Marsalis to headline the newly established Jazz At Lincoln Center Doha in Doha, Qatar.

Farinacci is also the Bittle Jazz Artist-in-Residence for UA JazzFest 2014. Now in its 12th year, the Bittle Jazz Residency Program was established by a gift to The University of Akron School of Music from Silver Lake residents Edward L. and Frances Yates Bittle. As this year's Bittle Artist, Farinacci will perform plus share his talents and expertise with UA music students during rehearsals, performances, master classes, and one-on-one lessons.

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