The 21st annual Great Bend Jazz Festival will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Crest Theater, featuring jazz vocalist Les Lankhorst from Salina. He will perform with the Prairie Winds Jazz Combo made up of area musicians.
Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students, and tickets are available at the Robert Feldt Law Office, 1314 Kansas Ave., and at A440 Music Store, 1207 Main.
The Prairie Winds Jazz Combo features Bill Clausing, alto saxophone; Tim Ehrlich, tenor saxophone; Marc Webster, trumpet; David Koetting, trombone; Kurtis Koch, drums; Greg Pohl, bass; and Gayle McMillen, piano.
Lankhorst began his musical career in music theatre at Salina South High School and is a graduate of Kansas State University where he continued honing his stage skills as a member of The K-State Singers. His professional theater career began in Kansas City, Mo., with roles in musicals presented at The New Theatre and The Plaza Dinner Playhouse. He then moved on to New York City to appear in numerous workshops, musical productions and national touring companies as well as participating in film and television projects throughout the years.
Currently he is booking a new tribute the Frank Sinatra, “100 Years, 100 minutes & 100 Songs of Sinatra.” He travels the world performing his solo shows on cruise ships, in resorts and at numerous concert venues. His shows include, “Les Lankhorst in Red, Hot & Swing,” in Charlotte, N.C., and “The Rat Pack Is Back” and the “Rat Pack Live” in Las Vegas.
As a Performance Coach he has worked with The K-State Singers, Royal Caribbean singing group, and the vocal group from the television show, America’s Got Talent, The Texas Tenors.
His singing style is heavily influenced by some of the world’s legendary swing-jazz vocalists including Mel Torme, Nat King Cole, Harry Connick Jr. and of course Frank Sinatra.
One reviewer noted that, “Les Lankhorst delivers the goods, from swagger to swing to sweet to melancholy ... he knows how to caress the lyrics until they begin to purr.”
At numerous times Lankhorst has returned to his home area to headline with The Salina Symphony. He has created and starred in an annual solo Christmas show at Salina Community Theatre, and performed various times at the Smoky Hill River Festival, Little Apple Jazz Festival in Manhattan, and various other jazz festival venues in the area.
See www.leslankhorst.com for pictures, videos, CD's etc.