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Kenosha jazz, blues fest Saturday

Alex Bugnwill be featured performer Aug. 20 Harbor Park Jazz Blues Festival Kenosha.

Alex Bugnon will be the featured performer Aug. 20 at Harbor Park Jazz and Blues Festival in Kenosha.

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Updated: October 17, 2011 12:17AM



KENOSHA, Wis. — Before the HarborPark Jazz and Blues Festival audience settles in to enjoy headliner and legendary pianist Alex Bugnon and special guest Nelson Rangell, they will be dancing, singing and clapping their hands to some electrifying salsa, soulful blues and melodic big band music at the annual lakefront festival.

Milwaukee salsa sensation Nabori, The Len Rainey Blues Trio featuring guitar phenom Bill Macpherson, and the all new KUSD Jazz All-Stars are scheduled to perform on Aug. 20 at Celebration Place, 54th Street and Lake Michigan in Kenosha. Gates open at 2:30 p.m..

Alex Bugnon’s musical path has taken him from his birthplace, Montreux, Switzerland, home to the world-famous jazz festival, to a music conservatory in Paris, and across the Atlantic to study at Boston’s famed Berklee School of Music. For the last two decades, keyboardist Bugnon has been a force on the contemporary jazz scene.

Joining him on Aug. 20 is saxophonist Nelson Rangell, equally adept at soprano, alto and tenor saxophone, as well as being a virtuoso on flute and piccolo.

West Coast blues legend Len Rainey returns with a blues trio featuring guitar phenom Bill Macpherson and Real Deal drummer Steve Rainey. Len Rainey played the last 20 years in Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Costa Rica and various Las Vegas clubs and has opened up for world class acts such as Bobby Blue Bland, John Mayall, Chaka Khan and B.B. King.

The KUSD Jazz All-Stars is a 20-piece ensemble of some of the finest high school jazz musicians in the Kenosha Unified School District. Student musicians were nominated by their band director for membership based on their experience and performance skills in the jazz idiom.

The KUSD All-Stars will perform a broad range of big band repertoire including music from jazz legends like Count Basie, Les Hooper, Matt Harris, Bob Mintzer, Gordon Goodwin and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. The band utilizes the classic big band instrumentation of five saxes, four trombones, four trumpets and a rhythm section.

“One of the goals of the KUSD project is to provide students with the opportunity to study and perform classic jazz as well as the music of today’s best jazz composers,” said director and organizer Ken Wiele.

Festival tickets are $25; $15 for students 18 and under, and seniors. Tickets are available at www.mahonefund.org or by calling (262) 654-2412.

The HPJB festival is produced by the volunteer efforts of The Mary Lou and Arthur F. Mahone Fund. Proceeds benefit the fund which promotes opportunities for economically or academically deserving youth and supports breast and cervical cancer initiatives for women who need financial support.



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