KU Jazz Festival

Festival Overview

For 43 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 evening festival concert will once again begin with The Outstanding High School Ensemble and the Outstanding College Ensemble. Based on performance merit, our clinicians will select these groups from the daytime performances to perform again during the evening concert. These bands will each perform one tune to open the evening concert. The bands chosen for each evening’s concert will be announced at the Lied Center 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.

2020 KU Jazz Festival Registration Fees (includes evening concert tickets)

Big Bands: $275 before Feb. 7 ($300 after Feb. 7)

Combos: $150 before Feb. 7 ($175 after Feb. 7)

To register

Once again this year, your ensemble’s registration fees will include tickets to the Evening Festival Concert! Tickets will be provided for each band member and director

Festival Information for School Ensemble Directors

School of Music Calendar
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
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.