KU Jazz students win multiple DownBeat Student Music Awards

Lawrence, KS - Please join us in congratulating students in the KU School of Music’s Jazz Studies Program for their recent success at the 47th Annual DownBeat Student Music Awards (SMA). The awards were announced this month, where KU Jazz Ensemble I and the KU Jazz Singers each received Outstanding Performance Awards in the graduate divisions of Large Jazz Ensembles and Vocal Jazz Ensembles. 

KU Jazz Ensemble I has made a significant impact on the jazz music scene, as this marks the fourth consecutive year they have received an SMA award. The ensemble has also received seven awards out of the last ten years.  “We are once again honored to be recognized alongside the nation’s top college jazz ensembles”, said Dan Gailey, the ensemble’s leader and director of jazz studies at KU.  “These awards continue to be a testament to the hard work of our talented students, and the exceptional teaching of our jazz studies and applied studio faculty”.  

The KU Jazz Singers received an award one year after the ensemble was restarted after an eight-year hiatus.  The group is directed by Kerry Marsh, director of vocal jazz ensembles and lecturer of jazz studies at KU.  “The students are thrilled to have their efforts recognized by DownBeat, and the recognition has certainly added energy behind what we'll be able to do with vocal jazz in the coming years at KU”, said Marsh.

About DownBeat

The DownBeat Student Music Awards are considered the most prestigious awards in jazz education. Since its founding in 1976, hundreds of musicians, music educators and music industry professionals received their first international recognition as DownBeat Student Music Award winners. Under Gailey’s leadership, the KU Jazz Studies Program has received 33 DownBeat Student Music Awards since 1992. 

DownBeat will publish the awards in its June issue. As one of the world’s leading jazz and contemporary music publications, DownBeat announces its Student Music Awards annually. Students and educators nominate themselves in an open call for recorded performances and applications, and winners are selected from more than 1,000 entries.