MTSU Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival

Here’s an event from our friends at MTSU School of Music.

TO: Middle Tennessee music students, directors, and general public (visit the website)

Greetings to you. The MTSU School of Music and the Illinois Jacquet Foundation invite you and your students to participate online in the 2021 MTSU Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival.  With support from the Tennessee Arts Commission we have unlimited capacity for students to participate in all our Zoom sessions on Saturday, April 10, 2021. All events are FREE to students and the public via Zoom and through the MTSU School of Music concert YouTube livestream at . The festival, is full of outstanding educational components including:

  • Saturday 3:30 p.m. guest Zoom clinic by Downbeat magazine and Grammy award-winning baritone saxophonist GARY SMULYAN. A veteran of the New York City jazz scene, Gary will discuss his career as a working jazz musician, educator, give saxophone insights, and the details of jazz improvisation.
  • Saturday evening CD release celebration concert featuring MTSU Jazz Ensemble I, and a YouTube premiere of a new collaboration recording with Downbeat magazine and Grammy award-winning baritone saxophonist GARY SMULYAN.
  • Saturday: MTSU Combo performances for highly respected jazz educators-adjudicators, Casey Brefka (leader, Music City Big Band) and MTSU alumnus Cord Martin in a non-competitive format.
  • Weekday one-hour online clinics with MTSU students and Brefka and Martin are available on Thursdays, April 1st and Thursday, April 8th at 11:30 a.m. Topics include music business, jazz trumpet and saxophone performance instruction, and time for Q + A.  For those interested, a zoom link will be sent out upon registration.
  • Guest clinic the Art of Small Group Jazz Performance by the MTSU Faculty Quintet, Brian Mueller (drums), Jonathan Wires (bass), Matt Endahl (piano), Jamey Simmons (trumpet), and Don Aliquo (saxophone). Topics include soloist/rhythm section interaction, jazz styles, song form, basic arranging, and musicality.

 Registration for the festival is at  For further information, contact Jamey Simmons,  REGISTRATION FOR THE EVENT WILL BE OPEN UNTIL THURSDAY, APRIL  9th    

The festival honors the legacy of tenor saxophonist/band leader ILLINOIS JACQUET, who rose to prominence in the 1940s with the big bands of Count Basie and Lionel Hampton.  To learn more about the Illinois Jacquet Foundation go to We hope that you and your students will joins us in this celebration of America’s great art form at Middle Tennessee State University.  Best wishes for continuing success in your programs.

Jamey Simmons
Director of Jazz Studies
Middle Tennessee State University School of Music
Murfreesboro, TN 37132