Thousands of jazz students from across the United States are streaming into Massachusetts for the 47th annual Berklee High School Jazz Festival, taking place on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s Back Bay. The festival is free and open to the public.
The largest event of its kind in the country, the festival features 200+ jazz bands and over 3,000 students from 13 states and Puerto Rico. They journey here each year to compete for top prizes in categories like Big Bands, Combos and Vocal Jazz Ensembles, plus in individual instrumental competitions. The top ranked ensembles get partial scholarships to Berklee’s prestigious Five Week Summer Performance Program, which tutors jazz musicians from around the world on the finer points of America’s most original music.
Berklee College of Music, founded as a music teaching studio in 1945, is considered the premier jazz education university in the world, producing some of the world’s top musicians, composers and producers, and scooping more Grammy Awards than any other institution. The High School Jazz Festival is just one of many programs to cultivate musical, creative and technical skills available in Massachusetts.
Along with Berklee, other schools with distinctive music programs include New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Longy School of Music, and the University of Massachusetts campuses at Amherst and Lowell. Here is a list of jazz education programs in Massachusetts.
Jazz lovers rightly refer to New Orleans as the birthplace of jazz, and cities like Chicago, Memphis, Nashville, San Francisco and New York all boast great music communities. But Boston is unique in having a vibrant, bustling music scene that is enhanced by the outstanding teaching institutions that draw aspiring musicians from around the world.
To find out about live jazz in Massachusetts throughout the year, visit MassJazz.com
To the musicians competing at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival this weekend, we say, Encore!