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December, 21, 2022
02:45 PM - 03:45 PM




Frank Alkyer

Frank Alkyer
Sharel Cassity

Sharel Cassity

The Midwest Jazz Interview With Sharel Cassity

Clinic Synopsis:


Frank Alkyer - Biographical Information

Frank Alkyer is the editor and publisher of DownBeat magazine, the world’s leading jazz publication. Under his direction, DownBeat has transitioned from a quality print magazine publisher to producing print and digital editions, websites, books and e-newsletters that are distributed around the globe. He has served as an adjunct professor of journalism and a television host as well as being a featured speaker and moderator at variety of  industry events including Best In Show at NAMM shows and The Midwest Jazz Interview at the Midwest Clinic. He is a founding board member of Jazz Alliance International and the Jazz Education Network and has served as an advisory board member of the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz and the Litchfield Jazz Festival. In 2018, he received the Jazz Legends Award from the Tri-C Jazz Festival in Cleveland and the Chicago Jazz Institute’s Irma J. Pickens Outstanding Jazz Advocate award. Alkyer also serves as the president of Music Inc. and UpBeat Daily magazines — those, along with DownBeat, are produced by Maher Publications, based in Elmhurst, Ill.

Sharel Cassity - Biographical Information

Saxophonist, Composer and Educator Sharel Cassity is a nationally acclaimed saxophonist prominent on New York and Chicago jazz scenes. Listed as "Rising Star Alto Saxophone" in Downbeat Magazine for the past 13 years, Sharel has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Colbert Show, is in the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, and is a recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award.  Sharel has worked with with Multi-Grammy Award-winning artists Jennifer Hudson, Natalie Merchant, Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Williams, & Trisha Yearwood among others. She has also performed alongside NEA Jazz Masters, also Grammy Award wining artists Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jimmy Heath, and Christian McBride, and has been a featured guest soloist with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. As a bandleader, Sharel's five albums have received top-rated reviews in publications like the The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, JazzTimes, Jazziz, Downbeat, American Indian News, with a cover feature on Saxophone Journal. Cassity earned a Masters Degree under full scholarship at Juilliard in NYC, and gives back to the next generation teaching at Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, and Elgin Community College. Sharel is a current member of the Dizzy Gillespie Afro Latin Experience and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band, runs her record label "Relsha Music," is the director of her educational program "Jazz Up,” and is a proud Yamaha and Vandoren Performing Artist.