by ANDRE DREW
In association with the seventh annual Jazzin’ Tiffin Festival, Tiffin University hosted a workshop open to TU and Heidelberg University with featured artist Chris Standring. The session was held on Sept. 11 and was about “how to become a unique artist and stand out in today’s music industry.”
Standring’s main focus was for the students to develop their own individual selves and not to emulate their favorite artists. Born in Buckinghamshire, England, was classically trained at the London College of Music, where he further honed his skills as a jazz guitarist. He spent the decade performing at the BBC and numerous other theater orchestras in London’s West End. He later relocated to Los Angeles, where he had become a top session player from Bebe & CeCe Winans, to Jody Watley, to Carole Bayer Sager. He then teamed up with keyboardist Rodney Lee in 1996 to start jazz the group SolarSystem. After touring with trumpeter Rick Braun, Standring went solo and released his debut LP Velvet in 1999, scoring hits “Cool Shades” and “Hip Sway.”
The festival, held in downtown Tiffin, has provided a free, fun-filled family environment for going on eight consecutive years with food and drinks provided by local restaurants. It was created through collaborations with producers of the award winning River Raisin Jazz Festival in Monroe, Michigan. Designed to attract visitors to the historical Tiffin area, this event has enjoyed many years of success due to the lineup of noteworthy artists, including Nelson Rangell, Alexander Zonjic, and Jeff Lober. Their mission is to “promote arts & culture through the development of community festivals and events that will benefit the Tiffin area by stimulating growth and economic impact.” The one day event is held in Rotary Park alongside the river on Frost Parkway. Next year’s festivities will be held next on Sept. 10, 2016.
Other featured artists at this year’s festival included the Heidelberg University Jazz Ensemble, Lady Sunshine & The X Band, Phil Denny, Larry Lee & Back in the Day, and Nelson Rangell.
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