Peru State College
font size: - | +
print print
News Release

Peru State College to Host 37th Annual Jazz Festival

Vertical Horizon, Doobie Brothers Band Percussionist Ed Toth to Serve as Adjudicator


( Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) will host its 37th Annual Jazz Festival themed Takin’ it to the Streets on Wednesday, March 17. The event is free and open to the public. The competition begins at 7:30 a.m. in the College Theatre.

Dr. Patrick Fortney, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and festival coordinator, said, “We look forward to the Jazz Festival every year not only for the rousing music, but also the thrill of the competition. This year promises to be one of the best yet, thanks in part to having an adjudicator with the renown of Ed Toth.”

Participating high schools include Auburn, Elkhorn, Elmwood-Murdock, Gretna, Johnson County Central, Nebraska City, Omaha Skutt, Papillion-LaVista, Platteview, Sterling, Waverly and Yutan. Participating middle schools include Auburn and Nebraska City Middle School. Bands will compete according to Class (AA-D).

The awards ceremony for Classes AA, B and the middle school division will be at 11:30 a.m. in the College Theatre. The awards ceremony for Classes A, D and C will be at 5 p.m. Participants and visitors will also be treated to an exhibition performance by the PSC Hoyt Street Jazz Ensemble at 1:05 p.m. in the College Theatre.

The adjudicator for the competition is Ed Toth, percussionist with the legendary Doobie Brothers Band. A native of East Lyme, Conn., Toth has played the drums for nearly 30 years, "Marching band was a big deal for me and taught me a lot of what I needed to know about listening and ensemble playing. Plus, I played in my first bands during high school." After high school, Toth attended the University of Miami, graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor’s degree in music. "

Toth relocated to Boston and joined the group Vertical Horizon 1996. Toth spent nine years with VH and scored a multi-platinum smash with the bands RCA debut Everything You Want in 2000. The title track was the most played song on U.S. radio that year and won three Billboard Awards. The album also yielded the hits You’re a God and Best I Ever Had. Vertical Horizon followed up with Go in 2003.

Toth joined The Doobie Brothers in 2005 and has performed with Willie Nelson, Michael McDonald, Warren Haynes and Erin McKeown - to name a few. Most recently, Toth joined good friend Tim Bradshaw (Dog’s Eye View, David Gray, John Mayer) to create the band, Cooper.

For additional information on the PSC Jazz Festival, contact the Department of Arts and Sciences at 402-872-2237 or visit