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(Published: June 30, 2011)

Each of the six "Hot Jazz - 6 Cool Nites" concerts presented the week of July 16-22 at North Central College will provide a unique experience for listeners, offering a different combination of featured jazz artists and musical selections to make each evening's performance distinctive.

The concerts, presented in conjunction with the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp, will begin at 7:30 p.m., in Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville. The event has been featured on the national PBS news program "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," WGN-TV, WTTW Channel 11 Chicago and HDNET-TV.

The series will open on Saturday, July 16 with the entire vocal jazz camp artist faculty: Janice Borla, Jay Clayton and Rosana Eckert. The three vocalists are all accomplished performing and recording artists, each known for "pushing the envelope" of the vocal jazz genre with their distinctive vocal styles and unique interpretations. They will be joined by trumpeter Art Davis, guitarist John McLean, pianist Dan Haerle, bassist Bob Bowman and drummer Jack Mouse.

Monday through Wednesday, July 18-20, two of the three vocalists will be featured in various combinations, both individually and together, backed by Davis, McLean, Haerle, Bowman and Mouse: Borla and Eckert on Monday; Eckert and Clayton on Tuesday; and on Wednesday, Borla and Clayton. On Thursday, July 21, all eight artists will again be featured to conclude the series.

"What makes this series so unique," says Janice Borla, the camp's founder, "is the wide range of jazz material and vocal performance styles it encompasses. Each night features a variety of jazz repertoire -- blues, standards, bebop, Brazilian and contemporary jazz -- as performed by three singers with distinctly different vocal styles, and backed by world-class instrumentalists. It's a special treat to present Jay and Rosana, in their only Chicago-area engagement this year.

"We are also returning to Meiley-Swallow Hall, a lovely 200-seat venue that affords us a more intimate space for these concerts. So much of a jazz performance is the communication onstage between performers, and this hall, with seating on three sides of the stage, puts the audience in close proximity to the artists onstage."

In honor of the camp and concert series, Naperville Mayor George Pradel will proclaim July 16-22 "Vocal Jazz Week." The proclamation recognizes the camp, "which has gained an international reputation as one of vocal jazz's most prestigious and unique events." The Mayor "urges all residents to support this assemblage of world-class jazz vocalists and instrumentalists who will be performing in Naperville, Illinois during this week."

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Community Arts Access Regranting Program, which is funded by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and Hinsdale Center for the Arts. Media sponsorship is provided by 90.9fm WDCB Public Radio from College of DuPage and Sun Publications. Equipment and services provided by Shure Brothers Inc. and Yamaha Corporation of America.

Tickets to the concerts are $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for students/senior citizens.A 4-night concert pass can also be purchased for $60.00 (adults) or $45.00 (students/seniors). For concert reservations and further information, contact the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469), or purchase tickets online at www.northcentralcollege.edu/show

Featured Vocalists
Janice Borla's recordings and performances have earned her consistently high praise for her beautiful sound, adventurous repertoire and imaginative vocal improvisations. Her CD From Every Angle was named one of the "Best CDs of the Year" by DownBeat Magazine. Borla's previous CD Agents of Change was named "#1 Jazz CD of the Year" by WBEZ-FM Chicago Public Radio, and praised by Jazz Times as "Genius. Pure genius."

Jay Clayton, currently based in New York City, has been described as "one of the most phenomenal vocalists in creative improvised music" (All Music Guide). Her current CD release The Peace of Wild Things (Sunnyside) has garnered her wide critical praise. Francis Davis (Downbeat Magazine) writes: "Clayton is an important singer - one who proposed dramatic change in style and roles - Her musicianship is impeccable."

New to the artist lineup this year is Rosana Eckert, a multi-faceted vocalist, pianist, French hornist, composer and arranger based in Dallas. Her new CD Small Hotel highlights the instrumental quality of her vocal style and her ablity to breath new life into beloved standards with her contemporary arranging style.

More Information: http://www.northcentralcollege.edu/show

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