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Jazz festival comes to Stanislaus campus
Trumpeter Ralph Alessi will stage a concert at the CSU Stanislaus jazz festival. - photo by Photo Submitted

California State University, Stanislaus is hosting their annual jazz festival Saturday that will highlight performances from the university jazz ensemble and feature a concert by guest artists The Ralph Alessi Baida Quartet.

The quartet is led by trumpeter Ralph Alessi and includes Gary Versace on piano, Drew Gress on bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums. 

The festival allows students in the music department to meet, learn and perform with several renowned jazz musicians. The culmination of the festival is the concert featuring Alessi at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Snider Recital Hall. Tickets for the concert are $5 and are available at:

Alessi was born in San Francisco to classical trumpeter Joe Alessi and opera singer Maria Leone. He earned his degrees in jazz trumpet and bass and was soon a frequent collaborator with notable jazz musicians like Steve Coleman, Jason Moran, Don Byron, and Ravi Coltrane.

Alessi has recorded nine albums of original compositions, which draw on everything from post-bop to neo classical music. Jazz Times named the debut outing of “This Against That” as one of the ten best recordings of 2002. Alessi released “Cognitive Dissonance” in 2010, which received a four star review from Downbeat magazine and was included in The New Republic’s top ten list of records of 2011.

As an educator, Alessi has been a member of the faculty of the Eastman School of Music and is currently the founder and director of the School for Improvisational Music.