Youngstown State University Saxophone Day and Jazz Day in Bliss Hall

Youngstown, OH…A combined Dana School of Music Saxophone Day and Jazz Day is scheduled at Youngstown State University on Saturday, March 19, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. in Bliss Hall.

 The event is free, but participants must register in advance at Once registered, attendees will receive further instructions.

 High school jazz musicians on all instruments, saxophone students, music educators, college students and others are invited to the day-long event which will include free parking, refreshments and a light lunch. Participants are encouraged to bring their own instruments.

 The event includes jazz and classical performances, improvisation clinics for all instruments at all levels, combo coaching by Ralph Lalama, classical masterclasses by Misato Hanawa, performances by Big Blitz, a jam session, and a breakout session for jazz rhythm section players.

 In addition, a breakout session on jazz rhythm section playing will occur with outstanding YSU Jazz faculty, including Kent Engelhardt, saxophone and piano, and YSU jazz drummer and percussion faculty Glenn Schaft.

 “YSU’s Dana School of Music is dedicated to serving our community. Saxophone and Jazz Day will feature international guest artists, as well as Dana’s own accomplished faculty and students, who will share their music, knowledge, and experiences with aspiring musicians and educators of all ages,” said Dr. Joseph Carucci, Director of the Dana School of Music.   

Ralph Lalama, celebrated New York tenor saxophonist and YSU alumnus, is a mainstay in the world-renowned Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and a leading New York City jazz educator. He has performed with jazz greats such as Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, the Mel Lewis Orchestra, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Lalama is a three-time Grammy winner through his work in the Joe Lovano Nonet and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He has released nine CDs as a leader and is on more than sixty recordings as a sideman. He is originally from Aliquippa, PA.

Misato Hanawa, from Japan, is a leading young classical saxophone artist. Most recently, she has performed at Carnegie Hall in her debut recital in the United States. She is the winner of several prestigious international competitions, including the International Music Competition Leopold Bellan, World Music Competition, International Music competition U.F.A.M., and the International North Music Competition.

Big Blitz, a nationally known trio that performs high energy dance and groove-based music, made up of YSU students Lucas Ciesielski, Mason Ciesielski and Nick Grabigel, will perform as part of the day.

Specific questions about the day may be addressed to Dr. James Umble at

More information is available by calling the Office of Community Engagement and Events at 330-727-7514.

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