'Z' Big Band Is Next Generation Jazz Festival Finalist

February 10, 2016

School of Music ensemble to compete for performance spot at this fall's prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival




Congratulations to the UArts "Z" Big Band on being named a finalist in the College Big Band Division of the 46th Next Generation Jazz Festival, being held April 8-10 in Monterey, Calif. Led by Assistant Professor Matt Gallagher MM '01 (Jazz Studies), the School of Music ensemble will compete against top student musicians from across the country and around the world for a chance to perform at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival, taking place September 16-18.

Competition includes big bands from some of the best programs in the country: University of Southern California Thornton School of Music; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of Miami's Frost School of Music; Azusa Pacific University; and Michigan State University.

Last summer, the "Z" Big Band was named one of the nation's top college jazz ensembles in the 38th Annual DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards, selected as one of only three winners in the "Undergraduate Large Jazz Ensembles" category by a panel of distinguished jazz musicians and educators.

Part of the Monterey Jazz Festival's Jazz Education program, the Next Generation Jazz Festival welcomes performances by middle, high school and collegiate groups of every kind: big bands, combos, vocal ensembles, as well as conglomerate bands. In addition to sharing their music with fellow student performers and jazz fans from around the world, "Z" Big Band members will also have the opportunity to audition for the prestigious Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and learn tips and techniques from jazz professionals like this year’s artist-in-residence Terri Lyne Carrington, a Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer and bandleader.

Now in its 59th year, the Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest running jazz festival in the world, celebrating the legacy of jazz, expanding its boundaries, and providing opportunities to experience jazz through the creative production of performances and educational programs.