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Winter Jazz Festival - December 7, 2019

Festival Schedule

The 2019 Sacramento State Winter Jazz Festival, open to Elementary School through Collegiate Jazz Ensembles, Combos, and Vocal Jazz Ensembles, is a non-competitive, educational festival in that no scoring or rankings of bands are made or implied. Instead, our selected clinicians are simply on hand to provide constructive commentary through verbal feedback. Our festival revolves completely around one main concept: it is important that our young musicians are taught how to play jazz while enjoying the learning process through every means available.

The festival is open to the public; general admission is $15 (including the 7pm evening concert) and is available onsite on the day of the Festival. Parking is $7 for the day, available from the machine on the 5th floor of the parking structure (we expect parking to be enforced due to the NCAA football playoff game on campus that day). Directors and performing participants will receive a complimentary admission pass to the Festival.

Application Fee: $300.00 per ensemble ($250.00 for a second or third ensemble from the same school)

The deadline for registration is November 1, 2019 (though we may reach registration capacity before this date). To participate please fill out the application and return to:
Sacramento State School of Music
attn: Gaw Vang Williams
6000 J Street • MS 6015
Sacramento, CA 95819

2019 Festival Application

This year's guest artist will be Kneebody. In their almost two-decade history, the Grammy-nominated band Kneebody has created a genre and style all its own. Their sound is explosive rock energy and high-level nuanced chamber ensemble playing set within the frames of highly wrought compositions that are balanced with adventurous no-holds-barred improvising.

Kneebody band photo

Winter Jazz orchestra performance at Sac State

Festival Format

Our clinicians understand that many ensembles will be bringing "works in progress" and some may have no repertoire prepared in advance. We are also encouraging directors with little or no jazz training to bring their groups to The Winter Jazz Festival so that the clinicians can display how to start up the ensemble. With no ratings, awards, or trophies involved, the festival is void of pressure, and your ensemble will be working in an intimate performance setting. Each group registration fee includes a 45-minute session with a selected clinician.

  • Instrumental Big Band Clinics Your clinician 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 score 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're planning to perform during the year.
  • Jazz Combo Clinics You have two options. First, you can have your combo bring prepared jazz selections (jazz standards or jazz compositions from lead sheets/fake books/published combo charts or transcribed by ear from recordings) for your clinician to critique. For schools that wish to form a combo but haven't yet done so, directors are encouraged to select a combo from their big band personnel and have the clinician show the group how to get started, how to rehearse the ensemble, and what they should strive to accomplish during the year as a group. In both cases, you have the option of having the clinician teach your group a tune aurally, emphasizing ear training, improvisation, and group interaction.
  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble Clinics Your clinician 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 score and parts with you) or spend your entire session on aural training and improvisation.

Additional Details

  • Fees will not be refunded after November 1, 2019. There will be a 25% processing charge on all refunds.
  • Preliminary schedules with warm-up and performance times will be sent to directors by November 10, 2019.
  • The festival is held in Capistrano Hall and the Student Union, on the campus of Sacramento State.
  • General Admission to the Festival is $15.00 and includes the 7:00pm closing concert.
  • Parking is $7 for the day, available from the machine on the 5th floor of the parking structure.(we expect parking to be enforced due to the NCAA football playoff game on campus that day)
  • We will fill performance spots on a first come, first served basis, so please get your reservation form in early! For further festival information please contact Gaw Vang Williams