Big band sounds comes to Oakton during Feb. 2 jazz concert

(Jan. 22, 2018) Burn off the winter doldrums with a toe-tapping start to Oakton Community College’s Performing Arts season. Music faculty, friends and the Niles North High School Jazz Band take the stage together for a swinging night of jazz hits at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at the college’s Footlik Theater, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines.

Led by Mark Olen, Oakton instructor of music, “Jazzin’ Around” features classic and contemporary favorites. A celebrated recording artist, Olen has performed with the biggest names in the music business including Tony Bennett, Al Jarreau, Michael Bolton, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, B. B. King, Bobby McFerrin and David Foster.

The Niles North High School Jazz Band is directed by award-winning conductor Michael Moehlman. Noted guest artists include Jim Trompeter and Larry Kohut. Pianist and renowned composer Jim Trompeter formerly performed with the Miami Sound Machine, and his compositions have been featured on HBO’s “The Sopranos.” Kohut, a bassist and active Broadway show musician, is an accomplished artist who has performed on albums for Eden Atwood, Mannheim Steamroller, Mark O’Connor and Patricia Barber.

Additional Oakton instructors of music who will take the stage include Bret Sher on drums and Tom Clippert on guitar, joined by Oakton Jazz Band Director Bob Evans.

“This show has a little something for everyone,” says Olen. “All the performers will add their exuberant energy to make this a memorable concert.”  

Tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. To order, call 847-635-1900 or visit