The FIU Festival of Jazz Bands, now in its third consecutive year, will take place at the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 7th from 12pm until 9pm.
The festival is a FIU community initiative designed to prepare local area high school jazz bands for their upcoming annual festival performances. Each year, eight to ten bands are invited to each perform three pieces for faculty and guest clinicians, who then critique and workshop directly with the students. Afterwards, the performances and workshops are also recorded and given to the band directors.
According to festival director Jamie Ousley, “the FIU Festival of Jazz Bands is important to our community because South Florida has become a major center of jazz education, which includes excellent middle school jazz programs, national award-winning high school jazz bands, and at least 8 vibrant college jazz programs. Jazz is an important American artistic contribution to the world, and it’s exciting to see south Florida cultivating the next generation of artists.”
Participating schools this year include New World School of the Arts, Felix Varela, Southwest Miami, Palmetto Senior, Miami Senior, Hialeah, Robert Morgan, and Ronald W. Reagan-Doral. The public is welcome to attend all high school performances and clinics at no charge, including a master class given by Grammy-winning John Fedchock. Joe Donato from the Miami Jazz Cooperative will serve as MC for the festival.
The festival will conclude with a concert at 7:30pm featuring esteemed jazz artist John Fedchock, the FIU Studio Jazz Big Band directed by Jim Hacker, and the FIU Jazz Faculty Ensemble. The performance is free to all festival participants. For more information regarding the evening closing concert, please click here.
The festival was sponsored, in part, by WDNA public radio, Miami Jazz Co-op, Rick and Margarita Tonkinson, and through a grant provided by XO Brass.