Jazz Festival

Saxophonist Dave Pietro

Saxophonist Dave Pietro
Saxophonist, Dave Pietro

The University of Minnesota Jazz Festival is a non-competitive educational festival that brings together the best jazz talent that Minnesota has to offer. It will occur on Saturday, February 29, 2020. You and your students will reap the benefits of this exciting lineup of clinicians and guest artists. This year's guest artist is saxophonist Dave Pietro.

This year, we will kick off the event with the Jazz Festival Combo Concert at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 28 in Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall. The Jazz Festival Concert Featuring Jazz Ensembles I & II will take place on Saturday, February 29 at 7:00 p.m. in Ted Mann Concert Hall. 

Register online by filling out our application form.

From 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., visiting school groups perform for clinicians and each other. Each visiting ensemble performs a 20 minute set in Ted Mann Concert Hall. Following this short performance, the band moves to a rehearsal space where they will spend 40 minutes with two clinicians who will work with them and offer suggestions on how to improve their performance. Both the Ted Mann performance and the clinic are recorded and directors receive written comments also.

Combos Track

Does your school have a combo? Jazz combos (defined as no more than 8 players total) will now have the opportunity to perform a set in Ultan Recital Hall and receive a clinic session led by world-renowned drummer and School of Music faculty member Phil Hey along with another jazz professional. Combos will receive a one-hour time slot in Ultan Recital Hall. The group will perform their set of music and then receive immediate help and feedback from the clinicians. Clinics for combos will be held in Ultan Recital Hall.

The day ends with a FREE evening concert featuring U of M Jazz Ensembles and special guest, saxophonist Dave Pietro.

The entry fee for the University of Minnesota Jazz Festival will be $375.00 per ensemble. This fee provides your ensemble with a twenty-minute performance and a forty-minute clinic, as well as access to additional workshops that will be held throughout the day. Performance slots are limited, so please register as soon as possible to assure your spot. 

In addition to the events mentioned above, there will be:

  • Performances by visiting middle school, high school, and college jazz ensembles
  • Extended sessions with festival clinicians
  • Jazz workshops for participating students

Dean Sorenson, Jazz Festival director

Dave Pietro, guest artist

List of Participating Schools (2020)

  • Austin High School
  • Chaska Middle School East
  • Chaska Middle School West
  • Eden Prairie High School
  • Field Community School (Minneapolis)
  • Hidden Oaks Middle School (Savage, MN)
  • Justice Page Middle School (Minneapolis)
  • Mound Westonka High School
  • Northfield High School
  • Pioneer Ridge Middle School (Chaska, MN)
  • Richfield High School
  • Richfield Middle School
  • Rosemount High School
  • Twin Oaks Middle School (Prior Lake, MN)

Festival Registration

Online registration ensures quick receipt and effective registration record-keeping. Spots are limited and fill fast, so please register early. We will update the website when registration is full. After completing the online registration form, please send checks payable to the University of Minnesota and mail to:

Maxwell Frank
University of Minnesota School of Music
100 Ferguson Hall
2106 Fourth St. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Equipment & Meal Needs

Please complete our equipment and meal needs form. This form will allow you to indicate how much equipment is needed and how many students will eat brunch or dinner. Complete this form once for each participating group.