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      Student musicians share love of jazz

      Local junior high and high school students had an opportunity Monday to perfect their art form.

      Hosted by Culver-Stockton College, the 17th annual JazzFest continued the tradition of sharing the art of jazz.

      Dr. Tom Pollett, C-SC Jazz Ensemble Director calls himself an advocate for the arts.

      He has made it his life's mission to give life to music any way he can.

      "Jazz is America's classical music," Pollett said. "It's something we have to preserve. The only way we're going to do that is by providing good music and learning how to do this correctly."

      Passing his love of jazz on to students is one of those ways.

      "There's no other way to teach aesthetic understanding," Pollett said. "There's no other way to teach ways to express ourselves beyond word and page. Music is one of those venues."

      It's through opportunities like JazzFest where C-SC sophomore pianist William Jackson began to cultivate his passion.

      "When I came up here for JazzFest when I was in high school," Jackson said. "I would just be blown away by the talent that they had here, and it would just keep me wanting to go into jazz."

      The festival focuses less on competition, and more on education, giving the musicians an opportunity to learn from each other.

      Jackson thinks learning is the most important part within music, as it covers almost every subject.

      "It's art, it's math, it's literature, it's science," Jackson said. "It's all the major things that we are taught anyway, so it's all just wrapped up in one."

      The Culver-Stockton Jazz Ensemble will be performing Monday evening at 7:30 pm in the Alexander Campbell Auditorium. Tickets are $7.50 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, and $4 for students.