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Loyola University New Orleans Jazz Festival Brings 33 High School Bands to Perform on Campus

Loyola press release - March 14, 2019

Next generation of jazz talent performs in battle of the bands at Loyola

This weekend, music students from around the country will converge on campus at Loyola University New Orleans to compete in the 49th Annual Loyola Jazz Festival. Hosted by the university’s acclaimed College of Music and Media – which boast 100 years of music education history in the city of jazz – the Loyola Jazz Festival is the oldest educational jazz festival in Louisiana.

“This is the largest the festival has ever been, with 33 ensembles coming from all four corners of the U.S.,” said Gordon L. Towell, a nationally recognized and New Orleans-based saxophonist who leads jazz studies in Loyola’s College of Music and Media. “This is the next generation talent of jazz being mentored by New Orleans musicians and other nationally recognized performers.”

The two-day educational festival, which includes a number of regional bands, is open to big bands or jazz combos from the elementary through college level with performances taking place in Loyola’s renowned performance halls. A panel of expert musicians and educators will judge performances on Friday and Saturday. Following each group performance, one of these educators will deliver a tailor-made clinic to the group.

Jazz trumpet great Scott Wendholt of the Manhattan School of Music will be the guest artist and clinician for the 2019 Loyola University Jazz Festival, courtesy of a generous grant from the Nathan and Priscilla Gordon Foundation. Wendholt and fellow guest clinicians - saxophonist and Loyola instructor Khari Allen-Lee, trombonist and composter Jennifer Kellogg and New York-based jazz drummer Jason Tiemann, together with Loyola jazz faculty, will provide free master classes for all instruments, at 12:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

Two concerts will highlight the festival. On Friday, March 15, the Loyola Faculty Jazz Septet and Guests will perform a free concert open to the public. The concert starts at 4:30 p.m. in the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall.

On Saturday, March 16, Scott Wendholt and the Loyola Jazz Ensemble will perform contemporary big band music and originals by Wendholt in a concert to close out the weekend, at 4:30 p.m., also in Roussel Hall. Tickets are $18 and $20 and can be purchased here. Participants enter free.