April 5 2017 04:59 PM

Jeff Kressler to be honored with award, tribute concert

The Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan announced last week that pianist and arranger Jeff Kressler will be its 2018 honoree, with a tribute concert scheduled for Nov. 12 this year.

Kressler’s jazz style is limpid, lyrical and loose, peppered by prickly prods and arpeggios and an occasional foray into song. He has been a mainstay of the mid-Michigan jazz scene, and the music scene in general, for over 30 years. He got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Michigan State University and wrote many arrangements for the Spartan Marching Band and MSU jazz bands, as well as groups at other universities and high schools. He’s played with the Woody Herman and Jimmy Dorsey orchestras and has backed Bob Hope, Nancy Wilson, the Four Freshmen and Bob Newhart. He made a mark in mid-Michigan as 2011 JAMM honoree Patti Richards’ piano player.

Kressler is also a respected jazz educator, now retired as band director at De- Witt Public Schools and currently teaching at Central Michigan University. He’s a first-call pianist for all sorts of musical productions and has recently been on national tour with clarinet player Dave Bennett.