La Plata, MD – The College of Southern Maryland’s 13th Annual Jazz Festival, April 8-9, will give area public school jazz bands a chance to sharpen their skills—and area music lovers a chance to tap their toes.

Jazz band students will attend clinics all day beginning at 9 a.m., April 8, at the La Plata Campus, Fine Arts (FA) Building. World-renowned jazz artist and Grammy-winning percussionist Gregg Bissonette will rehearse with each band and critique their performances as part of Friday’s clinic. The public is invited to attend this free event.

The festival continues with a jazz/funk/rock concert at 8 p.m. with the Randy Runyon Trio from New York City, with Randy Runyon Jr. on guitar, John Young on bass and Tom Hartman on drums.

At 8 p.m., April 9, the festival concludes with performances by the North Point High School Jazz Band and CSM’s Solid Brass Big Band Jazz Ensemble with special guest artists the Randy Runyon Trio and Bissonette.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Bissonette is considered one of the most versatile drummers in the business with broad experience ranging from big band, blues and rock, to Latins and fusion. Bissonette has spent nearly his entire life playing percussion with bands from Santana, David Lee Roth, Ringo Starr, Linda Ronstadt and Andrea Bocelli.

Originally from La Plata, Runyon Jr. began playing guitar at age 11. He released his debut album, “Arrival” in 2006. The recording features compositions by Miles Davis, Carl Filipiak, Thelonious Monk and Wayne Shorter. Three years later, he released “Randy Runyon Animal Zoo,” a collection of all original compositions that combine jazz, funk, R&B, hip-hop, rock, classical and psychedelic elements.

To watch a history of CSM’s Jazz Fest, visit

For information on this year’s Jazz Fest, visit or . For tickets, contact or 301-934-7828.