MTSU Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival

Individual Registration Form Here

Purchase Tickets Here

2019Jaquet logo

TO: Middle Tennessee High School & Middle School Band Directors 

I am writing to invite you and your students to the 2019 MTSU Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival, Saturday, March 16.  We are very excited about offering this unique and high quality educational experience to the directors and students of Middle Tennessee. As our jazz festival continues to grow, we want even more students and directors to take advantage of this special opportunity. The festival takes place in the Wright Music Building, 1439 Faulkinberry Drive, on the MTSU campus, parking is free in lots adjacent to the School of Music.

The Jacquet festival offers students and directors a great opportunity to explore jazz or improve their skills. The festival provides participating students and directors with an individual focus, with sessions on improvisation, small groups, master classes with our faculty and guest artists, and a concert by participants in the late afternoon led by our faculty. We welcome entire ensembles, combos or big bands, to participate in a daylong clinic, or individual high school students to attend and play in a combo coached by an MTSU faculty member. The cost for individual students is $20, the group/ensemble rate is $200. This includes a pizza lunch and tickets to the evening concert at 7:30pm.

Registration is at this site: . The registration deadline is Monday, March 11.

Our featured guest artists are:

  • Grammy Award winning drummer JEFF “TAIN” WATTS, one of the trend-setters in contemporary jazz ( Headline concert, Saturday, March 16th, 7:30 p.m., Hinton Hall
  • Saxophonist Larry Panella, Director of Jazz Studies, University of Southern Mississippi (, with MTSU jazz faculty, Thursday, March 14th, 7:30 p.m., Hinton Hall, Friday a.m. saxophone masterclass.
  • Nashville trombonist Roland Barber, special combo coach (

The festival is presented with the support of the Illinois Jacquet Foundation, created to honor the memory of Illinois Jacquet, the great tenor saxophonist and bandleader who came to fame with the Count Basie and Lionel Hampton orchestras of the 1940s.


The following is the Jacquet Jazz Festival schedule:


Registration/check in/welcome in Hinton Hall

9:00 - 10:15

Jazz style and combo/improvisation session #1

10:20 - 11:30

Jazz clinic with the MTSU jazz faculty

12:00 – 12:30

Pizza lunch and Jazz Ensemble II concert with guest trombonist Roland Barber

12:30 – 2:00

Jazz style and combo/improvisation session #2

2:10 - 3:10

Jeff “Tain” Watts jazz drum clinic

4:00 – 5:00

Student participants combo and/or ensemble concert


Concert by the MTSU Faculty Jazztet and Jazz Ensemble I with guest artist Jeff “Tain” Watts


Please contact me via Email ( or telephone (615.898.2724) if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you and your students at the MTSU Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival!

Jamey Simmons
Director of Jazz Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
School of Music
615 898 2724