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KU Jazz Festival


Anthony Wilson, guitar/composer

Friday night, March 3 — with the KU Jazz Festival All-Star Big Band and KU Jazz Ensemble I

Saturday night, March 4— with the Anthony Wilson Ensemble and Matt Otto Combo

Festival Overview

For 40 years, the KU Jazz Festival has been one of the focal points for jazz performance and education in the central United States. The festival has annually provided the region with a wonderful opportunity to hear and learn from world-class jazz musicians and educators, and is open to all college, high school and junior high/middle school big bands and jazz combos.

Evening concerts feature a first-rate lineup of some of the most important and exciting musicians in the world of contemporary jazz, while daytime clinics and master classes with these and other artists allow students and community members to interact with them outside of the concert hall.


While the KU Jazz Festival remains a mostly non-competitive event, the Friday and Saturday Evening Festival Concerts will once again begin with The Outstanding High School Ensemble (Friday night) and the Outstanding College Ensemble (Saturday night). Based on performance merit, our clinicians will select one group from the instrumental ensembles each day to perform on that evening's concert. High school ensembles will be considered for the award on Friday evening, and college/university ensembles will be considered for Saturday evening. These bands (one for each day of the festival) will perform two tunes (or 15 minutes) to open that day's evening concert. The bands chosen for each evening’s concert will be announced in Murphy Hall 130 at the end of each day's performances (approximately 4:30-5:00 PM). Outstanding soloists will be announced at this time as well. Directors will be able to declare their bands eligible for the Outstanding Ensembles awards via the registration form and/or during check-in at the registration table on the day of the festival.

Revolving trophies will be presented to the Middle School, High School and College Outstanding Ensembles. These trophies will stay with the recipients until the 2018 KU Jazz Festival, when they will be presented once again to the Outstanding Ensembles.

2017 KU Jazz Festival Registration Fees (includes evening concert tickets)

Big Bands: $275 before Jan. 30 ($300 after Jan. 30)
Combos: $150 before Jan. 30 ($175 after Jan. 30)

To register

Once again this year, your ensemble’s registration fees will include tickets to the Evening Festival Concert on the day that you perform! Tickets will be provided for each member of the ensemble, along with tickets for the director(s).
Tickets for the general public must be purchased through the SUA Box Office at KU, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets may be purchased beginning Feb. 1, 2017.

Festival Information for School Ensemble Directors

Live Stream Links

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Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
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