Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

The Columbia Jazz Series will present its 35th annual Big Band Jazz Festival on Friday and Saturday in the Dogwood Theater at Columbia College.

The festival will feature guest artists and cliniciansMic Gillette of Tower of Power on trumpet and trombone,Los Angeles session player Mike Rocha on lead trumpet,Ken Taylor, director of Merced College Jazz band on trombone, composer and arrangerBob Secor on piano and trumpet, Berkeley College Jazz instructorClinton Day on bass, Sonora native and former "Pointer Sisters" drummerJim Anderson, Latin Jazz recording artist Mario Flores on congas and Monterey Jazz festival headlinerPaul Contos on saxophones and flute.

All of the guest artists will lead student workshops and perform in the festival concerts at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday.

The festival will be attended by more than 400 young musicians from area high school and middle school jazz bands.

The daytime events and school group performances are free and open to the public. Especially welcome are families and those interested in music education, said series director Rod Harris.

The highlight of the festival will be the concerts on Friday and Saturday. The Columbia Big Band and Vocal Jazz Quartet will showcase all eight of the festival artists as featured soloists.

Reserved seat tickets are $22, available until Friday afternoon at Mountain Bookshop in The Junction shopping center and at the college bookstore by phone at 588-5126. Any remaining seats will be available at the door.

Here is Friday's school performance schedule:

11:40 a.m. - Golden Valley C, Mike Vasquez, director.

12:05 p.m. - Summerville, Jeff Johnson, director.

12:30 p.m. - Merced, Jon Schmid, director.

12:55 p.m. - Linden, Heather Small, director.

1:20 p.m. - Golden Valley B, Mike Vasquez, director.

1:45 p.m. - Los Banos, Cliff Brand, director.

2:10 p.m. - Antelope, Sonora Mello, director.

2:35 p.m. - Golden Valley A, Mike Vasquez, director.

3 p.m. - Break out sessions for instrument clinics.

Saturday's schedule:

10 a.m. - Sinaloa II, Jason Eckl, director.

10:30 a.m. - Sinaloa I, Jason Eckl, director.

11 a.m. - Sierra, Bruce Weinberger, director.

11:40 a.m. - Amador County, Chris Tootle, director.

12:05 p.m. - Cordova, Kevin Sims, director.

12: 30 p.m. - Roosevelt, George Ramerez, director.

12:55 p.m. - break out sessions for instrument clinics.

1:40 p.m. - Jam session with Columbia Big Band and guest artists, all students sit in.