Student Jazz Band Festival
In this annual, three-day event student jazz bands at the middle school, high school, and college and university levels perform before the public and their peers in an adjudicated program. Though awards for “Band of Distinction” and “Outstanding Soloist” are given in each of the festival categories, the festival promotes collaboration over competition: participants may opt-out of receiving numerical scores in favor of comments only. In addition, the festival presents a nationally renowned artist in concert, who also serves as clinician and leads a workshop that is open to the public. Past clinicians have included Lenny Kravitz’s drummer, Zoro, and Rashawn Ross, the touring trumpeter for Dave Matthews Band. There is never a fee asked of participating bands, and due to the wealth of talent represented at the festival many college and university band directors use it to recruit future band members. In 2018, 21 jazz bands and 403 student musicians participated. In 2019 16 jazz bands participated. The level of showmanship and artistry rises every year and this year’s festival was no exception. Bands of Distinction were as follows; Troy University, Gadsden State Community college, Minor High School, and Piztiz Middle School. The AJHF wants to congratulate all participants and we are looking forward to next year. For 2020 the band festival was cancelled due to COVID 19 and concerns for the safety of our students.