WCU jazz lovers enjoy the cosmopolitan music that connects all humans

Music is a universal language that all people can enjoy. For for the audience of the 15th Annual Jazz Festival it was a treat with a cosmopolitan style of music.

Bassist Mike McGuirk and drummer John Riley, with the WCU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Pavel Wlosok perform at the 15th Jazz Festival. Photo from WCU Public Relations.

The festival featured renowned vocalist Carly Johnson, bassist Mike McGuirk and drummer John Riley, along with the WCU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Pavel Wlosok.

“We have three visiting artists. Two of them have been here before.  The drummer, John Riley, is  a drummer for the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and that band has been playing for a few decades. It’s the longest standing jazz big band on the planet having playing for 50 years at the Vanguard club in New York City. He’s also on my first record I released in 2012 called “Jubilee Sweet”, as well as bass player Mike McGuirk who I will be here as well.  Carly Johnson will be singing with us as well. She is up and coming,” explained Wlosok.

The festival coincides with the celebration of 100 years since the first jazz recording when unfortunately black musicians were not allowed to record.

“It’s a celebration of jazz music. Jazz music which is 100 years old. We are celebrating the very first jazz recording. Though it’s not very much of a time of celebration because at that time, only white musicians were able to record,” Wlosok explained.

Stephen Propst and Ty Moore got a behind the scenes scoop during soundchecks for the main concert.

Wlosok, a Czech born pianist, award winning composer, arranger and educator with the Commercial and Electronic music at WCU since 2002, is the force behind the event.

“From someone who comes from the outside… from Europe trying to promote this type of music in a country where it was born and you know, cherished, and developed, I think it’s import that people understand this message: It’s music which connects every type of human being, and it is cosmopolitan,” Wlosok said.