The two-day championship, which IC was invited to take part in for the first time, featured ensembles from 10 of the most well-regarded university jazz programs in the country. The weekend offered the ensembles the opportunity to perform in both competitive and non-competitive formats. Additionally, there were master classes, Q&As with musicians, and an opportunity for IC’s ensemble to work with Obed Calvaire, the drummer for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
The judging panel for the competition comprised distinguished jazz musicians and educators Wynton Marsalis, Jeff Hamilton, Ted Nash, Catherine Russell, and Bijon Watson.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students,” said Mike Titlebaum, associate professor of music performance and director of both the jazz studies program and the ensemble. “It was a tremendous opportunity to meet aspiring musicians and teachers from other schools and get to hear what they’re all about.”