This year’s date: February 27, 2016

Letter from the Director

As Assistant Professor of Music at Vanguard University, it is my privilege to host this one-of-a-kind event and introduce to you and your students an exciting program and schedule. This Jazz Festival provides an opportunity for your Jazz Group(s) to be adjudicated by some of the top professional musicians in the business.  We have been fortunate to have artists such as Sal Lozano, Kye Palmer, Ron Stoudt, Michael Higgins, Jimmy Emerzian, Josh Welchez, Joe Harris, and John Ferraro.  We are very fortunate to have these fine musicians and your groups contributing to the success of our event each year!  Vanguard University is delighted to host the festival as it gives your students an opportunity to perform at a college venue, hear other  student groups, and the opportunity to learn more about Vanguard’s renowned Department of Music.

Students in grades six through twelve are eligible to participate and must be part of a functioning group within a school. In addition to performance and adjudication, your band will also participate in various Instrumental, Rhythm, and Improvisation Clinic Workshops. You are also invited to our Jazz Festival’s Closing Concert featuring an Honors Jazz Band made up of students you nominate in advance, our professional musician adjudicators, and the award winning Vanguard University Jazz Ensemble & Combo. As part of the festivities, our alumni will host an all-day jam session on campus.  Your students are encouraged to bring their instruments and participate!

If you would like to register for this event, simply fill out the form below, or contact our Coordinator of Concert Operations at 714.619.6409 OR david.paltza@vanguard.edu.

We look forward to making music with you!


Kenneth R. Foerch, D.M.A.


The Jazz Festival gives each student a unique opportunity to perform in various settings. In the main performance and competition each band will perform two to three selections during their given time. Other performance opportunities which are available include the Jazz Jam Session (open to all – need basic sight reading) and the Vanguard Honors Jazz Band (selected from school nominations).

Band Debrief Clinics

Vanguard University and the Department of Music value quality educational experiences in music and performance. Therefore, the Jazz Festival has instituted clinics by the adjudicators for quality feedback and performance advise based on your performance. Clinics will cover topics including instrumental performance, jazz arranging and improvisation.

Section Workshops

The Jazz Festival also will offer workshops by the adjudicators for specialized instruction and performance advise based on the student’s instrument/section. Workshops will be broken up into three sections: Rhythm, Woodwinds/Sax, and Brass. Many adjudicators will offer quality expertise on performance, technique and improvisation as well as a showcase some of their solo work.

Jazz Jam Session (Expression Session)

We are really excited about this feature for our Jazz Festival. We are inviting performers and directors to join with us for an expressive time of Jazz. We will have an open time to join with the VU Jazz Combo for improvisation, sight reading and fun. More details will be available upon registration.



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