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Winter Jazz Festival - December 10, 2022

The Sacramento State Winter Jazz Festival, held on the Sacramento State campus, is open to Elementary School, Middle School, High School, and Colleges. The Festival includes jazz bands, vocal jazz ensembles, and jazz combos, and is a non-competitive, educational event with no scoring, no ranking of ensembles, and no awards or trophies involved.

jeff-watts.jpgThis year's Festival will feature drummer/composer Jeff "Tain" Watts. Jeff joined the Wynton Marsalis Quartet in 1981 and proceeded to win three Grammy Awards with the ensemble. In the film and television industry Jeff has appeared as both a musician on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and as an actor, Rhythm Jones in Spike Lee’s "Mo Better Blues". In 2017 Jeff was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for study in the field of Music Composition.

Festival Format

Each group will spend 45 minutes with a single clinician. Clinicians will critique your prepared charts with the option of spending a portion of the clinic teaching your group a jazz composition totally by ear, focusing upon aural training and improvisation. If you have nothing prepared to bring to The Winter Jazz Festival, you can have your clinician introduce your ensemble to a selection of your choice (bring scores and parts with you) or spend your entire session on aural training and improvisation. Some directors may choose to have the clinician focus upon the improvisational sections of charts they are planning to perform during the year.

Winter Jazz orchestra performance at Sac State

Registration Information

Online registration for the Sacramento State Winter Jazz Festival will contiune until November 1, or until we fill up. Registration fees are $300 for the first ensemble per school and $250 for additional ensembles, and are due two weeks after the application is submitted online.


Registration fee checks should be made out to: Sacramento State Jazz Club and mailed to:

Sacramento State School of Music
ATTN: Gaw Vang Williams
6000 J Street • MS 6015
Sacramento, CA 95819

Schedule and Tickets

General admission to the Jazz Festival for the public is $15 and is valid all day. Tickets will be sold onsite (as wristbands) at Capistrano Hall and the University Union. Don't miss the closing concert in the University Ballroom at 7:00pm, featuring the Sac State Jazz Ensembles with guest drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts!

PLEASE NOTE: all visitors to campus have to follow campus protocols in effect at the time of the event, which may include masks and/or social distancing protocols. The Festival Directors will reach out to all band directors with information closer to the Festival.