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Final ‘Jazz in the Vineyard’ concert is Sunday at Alexis Bailly Vineyards

Jazz musician, trumpeter, pianist, teacher and composer Jon Pemberton will conclude this year’s Jazz in the Vineyard series;. He will perform in concert from 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at the Alexis Bailly Winery.

Pemberton began his musical studies with piano lessons at age 6. Guitar lessons followed at age 10, and trumpet studies began at age 11. In these early years, he also sang and acted in local college productions. At the age of 12, his parents arranged auditions with local university piano professors.

While only in the seventh grade, Pemberton began traveling two  hours round trip for weekly one-hour piano lessons. During these early years, Pemberton also continued playing trumpet in the school band. In addition, he formed his first jazz combo with high school friends. Upon graduating from high school, he moved to St. Paul to continue his musical studies at Macalester College. At Macalester, he was trumpet soloist and arranger for the Mac Jazz big band and section leader for the Macalester Symphony orchestra. In addition, he was a member of various jazz combos as well as pianist for the Macalester Dance Troupe. He graduated from Macalester with a degree in trumpet performance.

After graduating from college, Pemberton began a career in private teaching (brass and piano) which lasts to this day. He has taught thousands of students, many of whom perform in the area’s top youth orchestras, and some of whom have gone on to their own professional careers.  He also began his performance career after graduating from college. In these years he focused on the trumpet, landing sideman gigs with many of the area’s top bands and musicians.

In addition, Pemberton formed his own jazz quintets, The PemberTones and Tribute to Lee Morgan, both heard regularly at the Artist’s Quarter, a top St. Paul jazz club. He returned to the piano when he had the good fortune of befriending local jazz piano giant, Bobby Peterson. He generously offered Pemberton free jazz piano lessons.  

In 2006, Pemberton was hired as music director for Mercy Seat Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. During his two and a half year tenure, he composed three original jazz liturgies. He was also in charge of hiring the best local jazz talent for the weekly services.

The Alexis Bailly Vineyard is located at 18200 Kirby Ave. Take Highway 61 south from Hastings to 170th Street, turn to the right. Drive two miles; as the road curves, it becomes Kirby Avenue. The winery is on the left side.