Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival

Saturday, April 1st, 2023

Jaquet logo

For Middle School, High School, and University Jazz Ensembles and General Public

Register Here:


  • Adam Nussbaum, Drums
  • Guest Clinicians
  • MTSU Jazz Ensemble 1,2 and Jazz Combos
  • The MTSU Faculty Jazztet




Greetings to you. The MTSU School of Music and the Illinois Jacquet Foundation invite you and your students to participate in the 2023 MTSU Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 1st, 2023 . 
The day long festival is full of outstanding educational components including: 

  • Middle/High School jazz ensemble performances for a panel of highly respected jazz educators/adjudicators in a non-competitive format, but with comment sheets/ratings, and a post-performance clinic for each band. Past clinicians have included Casey Brefka, Cord Martin, Roland Barber, Pat Coil, Gary Wittner, and Imer Santiago. 
  • Outstanding Musicianship Awards, an Outstanding Soloist Award, and Outstanding Ensemble Award(s) selected by festival adjudicators, with one or more ensembles chosen to perform on the Saturday evening concert.
  • Morning performances and clinics by MTSU student combos, with clinics by faculty and respected clinicians.
  • A 10 a.m. jam session hosted by MTSU faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. All are invited to participate and listen!
  • 2:15 Guest faculty clinic the Art of Small Group Jazz Performance by the MTSU Faculty Quintet, Brian Mueller (drums), Jonathan Wires (bass), Chip Henderson (Guitar), Pat Coil (piano), Jamey Simmons (trumpet), and Don Aliquo (saxophone) and Julia Rich (voice). Topics include soloist/rhythm section interaction, improvising tips, jazz styles, song form, basic arranging, and musicality.
  • 3:30 p.m. guest clinic by innovative jazz drummer Adam Nussbaum. A veteran of the international jazz scene, Adam will discuss his career as a working jazz musician and educator, give drumming insights, and the details of jazz style and improvisation.
  • 7:30 p.m. Awards ceremony and concert featuring MTSU Jazz Ensemble I, and award-winning drummer Adam Nussbaum. With registration, all ensembles receive tickets for students, directors, and parents.
  • MTSU Combo performances for highly respected jazz educators-adjudicators in Saunders Room 101

For further information, contact Jamey Simmons,  REGISTRATION FOR THE EVENT WILL BE OPEN UNTIL THURSDAY, MARCH 16TH.

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    (615) 898-2724

Schedule of Events
Saturday, April 1st, 2023

All LIVE performances occur in Hinton Hall, available to the public, and online through the
MTSU School of Music livestream, available at

8:15 a.m.                    Student registration begins

9 a.m. - 11:30a.m.     Visiting ensembles perform in Hinton Hall

9 a.m. – Noon            MTSU Combo performances and clinics in Saunders 101

9:30am – Noon          Visiting ensemble one-on-one clinics in Instrumental Rehearsal Hall, guest clinicians TBA

10 a.m. - 11 a.m.        Jam Session, visiting students, MTSU jazz students and faculty, Choral       Rehearsal Hall.

Noon                          Break

1:00 p.m.                   Visiting ensembles perform in Hinton Hall

2:15 p.m.                   Jazz faculty clinic and Q&A - the Art of Small Group Jazz Performance, Hinton Hall

3:30 p.m.                   Guest clinic by jazz drummer Adam Nussbaum

7:30 p.m.Concert:      drummer Adam Nussbaum with MTSU Jazz Ensemble I, Jamey Simmons, Director



Adam Nussbaum

Adam Nussbaum:

is considered one of the finest drummers working today. He's played with a virtual "Who's Who" in the jazz world. Longtime associates have included: John Abercrombie, Michael & Randy Brecker, Eliane Elias, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Vic Juris, James Moody, John Scofield, Joe Sample, Ohad Talmor, ‘Toots' Thielemans, Kenny Wheeler & NHØP, as well as freelancing with prominent artists of every generation, being a major asset no matter where he appears. Nussbaum has recently formed the Lead Belly Project.  He has also joined forces with other musicians to form such groups as “BANN” w/Seamus Blake, Jay Anderson & Oz Noy, “We3” w/Dave Liebman & Steve Swallow, "The Impossible Gentlemen" w/Gwilym Simcock, Steve Rodby & Mike Walker, “The Nuttree Quartet" w/John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi & Gary Versace and "The ZZ Quartet w/Ratko Zjaca, Simone Zanchini & Martin Gjakanovski. He's been on hundreds of recordings, including the Grammy winning "Don't Try This At Home” recorded with Michael Brecker.

In addition, Nussbaum reaches out to the next generation. He is an in-demand educator doing Clinics and Master Classes, teaching at such institutions as Berklee, NYU, State University of New York, the New School, and at numerous Conservatories around the world.

His abilities have brought opportunities for him to work with the finest makers of all things drum-related. Working with Sonor drums, he helped design a line in the “HiLite” series. In conjunction with Zildjian cymbals, Nussbaum helped developed the “Renaissance” & "Pre-Aged” K. Zildjian cymbals. He also coproduced with Hudson Music, "The Art of Playing Brushes."

He was born in New York City and grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut and started to play drums at age 12 after studying piano for five years; he also playing bass and saxophone as a teenager. He moved to New York City in 1975 to attend The Davis Center for Performing Arts at City College. He eventually focused on drums….



Brandon Moore

Brandon Moore:

Brandon Moore is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, educator, and multi-instrumentalist based in the Nashville area. Originally from Dexter, MO, Brandon moved to Denton, TX to study jazz at the prestigious University of North Texas. Brandon graduated in 2016 with a B.M. Degree in Jazz Studies in saxophone and in 2018 with a M.M. in Jazz Studies with an emphasis in composition and arranging.                                  
At UNT, he performed, recorded, and toured with the world-renowned One O'Clock Lab Band. Brandon studied under Rich DeRosa, Alan Baylock, and Brad Leali As a writer, Brandon's pieces were recorded on "Lab 2018: The Rhythm of the Road" and “Lab 2017."  In 2018, Brandon won a Downbeat Student Music award for his arrangement of “My Shining Hour” as well as being selected as an Outstanding Soloist in the Graduate Jazz Soloist category. Brandon was a finalist in the Eastman Winds "Perform with Mintzer Competition: 2016." During his masters degree studies, Brandon was a Teaching Fellow in Jazz Arranging, Jazz Saxophone, and directed the 6 O’Clock Lab Band.

Brandon's compositions and arrangements have been performed by artists such as The Airmen of Note, Chris Potter, One O'Clock Lab Band, Joe McBride, and Eric Scortia. Brandon has performed with notable artists such as Pat Coil, Duffy Jackson, Joel Frahm, Don Aliquo, Danny Gottlieb, and others. As a woodwind doubler, Brandon has played on shows such as Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show. Currently, he resides in Nashville, TN, where he works as a saxophonist, arranger, and educator.