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Grammy Award-winning bassist Christian McBride and the Inside Straight band will headline this year’s Carolina Jazz Festival Feb. 23-25 at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Saxophonist Steve Wilson, a member of Inside Straight, will be the artist in residence for the 35th annual festival. This year’s festival, themed “Jazz: In Sound and Image,” also features a roving photography exhibit.

Workshops, concerts and late-night jams during the festival will showcase the guest artists, UNC Jazz Band, UNC Jazz Combos and Charanga Carolina. The Essentially Ellington Regional High School Jazz Festival, presented in conjunction with Jazz at Lincoln Center, returns for its seventh year. High school and middle school bands from North Carolina and Virginia will come to UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Student Union on Feb. 23 for a day of performances and clinics.

For more information, check the festival schedule or call (919) 962-1039. For tickets, contact the Memorial Hall Box Office at 140 E. Cameron Ave., open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays; call (919) 843-3333 or visit

“Bassist Christian McBride is one of our nation’s great cultural and artistic ambassadors. He is a tireless advocate for jazz, jazz education, and the arts in our schools. His music is rooted in the jazz tradition, yet it’s fresh and new,” said Jim Ketch, festival director and music professor and director of jazz studies in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Steve Wilson is highly respected for his saxophone artistry, musicianship and wide-ranging experience in all facets of the music. His passion for jazz education and young people makes him one of the most outstanding artists we have ever invited to the Carolina Jazz Festival.”

Published February 13, 2012.