A benefit concert for the 25th annual INTERNATIONAL SUMMER JAZZ ACADEMY
Monday, June 21, 2021, 7 pm

First Congregational Church of Webster Groves

The First Congregational Church of Webster Groves announces BEBOP, BALLADS, BLUES & BOSSAS – a concert of great jazz standards in support of the 25th anniversary of the INTERNATIONAL SUMMER JAZZ ACADEMY, Monday, June 21, 7 pm at the church located at the corner of Elm and Lockwood in Webster Groves.

Performers include current and former faculty members and alumni from Webster University’s jazz studies program: Mike Parkinson, trumpet, Kim Portnoy, Carol Schmidt, and Carolbeth True, piano, Willem von Hombracht & Ben Wheeler, bass, Kevin Gianino & Joe Meyer, drums, Abbie Steiling, violin, Paul DeMarinis, Hugh Jones, Mike Karpowicz, Chris Hubbard & Zac Minor, saxophones.

General admission is $10.

This concert is presented with the support of Dr. Wojciech Golik, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Poland in St. Louis, the Polish-American Cultural Society of St. Louis, Saint Louis Polonia Inc., and the Polish American Congress-Missouri Division.

Founded in 1994, the International Summer Jazz Academy (ISJA) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year in Krakow, Poland. Initially sponsored by The Polish and American Youth Jazz Foundation and the University of Maine at Augusta, the founding Artistic Director was Dr. Isadore Rudnick, U-Maine-Augusta professor and a jazz artist who had lived in Poland. From 1995-2005, the Artistic Director was Mike Parkinson, former Chair of the Webster University Department of Music. Dr. Parkinson was assisted by faculty colleagues, including Paul DeMarinis, Mike Karpowicz, Dan Eubanks, Kevin Gianino, Carol Schmidt, Carolbeth True, and Willem von Hombracht, who served as the ISJA Artistic Director from 2008-2014. Through the years numerous Webster students served as ISJA teaching assistants, among these were Bob Chanitz, Zac Danner, Lou Goldford, Charlie Halloran, Chris Hubbard, Joe Meyer, Zac Minor, Blake Nelson, Ryan Robertson Nick Schlueter, Randi Shanker, Abbie Steiling, and David True.

The 25th-anniversary ISJA will be held at the Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow, June 25-August 1, with 100 high school and college students expected to attend from Poland and other nations. Mike Parkinson and Willem von Hombracht have been invited to return as honored faculty members and artistic directors for this celebration. Numerous former ISJA students are leading highly successful careers, including Agata Pisko, voice, Maciej Mucha, trumpet, Andre Danek, voice, Dominik Wania, pianist and composer, Przemek Jarosz, drums and recording producer, Mark Tokar, bass and composer, Mateusz Chmielewski, guitar, Karolina Styla, voice, Karol Obara, guitar, Artur Żurawik, bass and visual artist, and the Dagadana Band (Dana Grzegorowicz, Dana Vynnytskja, voice, and Mikolaj Postieszalski, bass). The ISJA curriculum includes combos, vocal jazz ensemble, theory, history and improvisation, master classes, and nightly jam sessions for students and faculty. The faculty includes acclaimed jazz artists from Poland, the United States, and other European countries, and concludes with gala concerts featuring the student combos, vocal jazz ensemble, and the faculty.

The primary ISJA sponsor is the Krakow School of Jazz & Contemporary Music which is led by Grzegorz Motyka, a well-known jazz guitarist who serves as the ISJA Administrative Director. All proceeds from the July 21 concert will help to underwrite the air travel expenses of Mike Parkinson and Willem von Hombracht.

Individuals wishing to provide further support may make a donation by check to the Krakow School of Jazz & Contemporary Music. For further information, please visit