New Youth Jazz Festival To Debut in Seattle in 2014
The Seattle Jazz Experience, a new, two-day youth jazz festival, will debut in March 2014 for high school and college jazz students throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Organized by Cornish College of the Arts, in partnership with Seattle JazzED, the Experience will take place March 14–15 at the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center.
“Our preliminary discussions with high school and college band directors in the Pacific Northwest confirmed that students and teachers want a Seattle-based jazz festival that offered an educational experience of the highest quality,” said Kent Devereaux, festival director and chair of the Cornish Music Department. “We felt the time was right for Seattle to stake its claim as the center of jazz in the Pacific Northwest.”
The Seattle Jazz Experience will feature workshops, clinics and evening performances by guest artists like drummer and composer Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts quartet, the Seattle-based Cuong Vu Trio and Bill Holman, a Grammy-winning composer and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.
“We decided to go in a slightly different direction and feature the music of a living composer—or two—every year,” Devereaux said. The inaugural festival will pay homage to Holman’s work, and Devereaux noted that festival organizers would like to feature the work of other living composers like Maria Schneider, Django Bates, Darcy James Argue and Muhal Richard Abrams in the future.
Holman will also be in residence during the festival.
With the Seattle Jazz Experience, Cornish hopes to bring a first-rate student jazz festival to the city and tap into the area’s strong tradition of school jazz programs. Seattle-area schools have consistently placed high in competitions like Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Competition and the DownBeat Student Music Awards.
Organizers are looking to attract about 500 students from approximately 20 schools to the first event.
For more details and information on submitting an application, visit the Seattle Jazz Experience website.