2016 Jazz Festival

FEBRUARY 25-27, 2016

The NAU Jazz Festival is a non-competitive arena for middle school, high school, and junior college musicians. This type of festival creates a relaxed atmosphere that promotes education as opposed to competition. Big bands and combos perform for adjudicators to receive ratings and/or comments. Following the performances each ensemble will participate in feedback clinics with one of our esteemed adjudicator/clinicians. 

This year will be the 54th annual NAU Jazz Festival. Approximately 60 bands will perform in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium over the 3 days of the festival. Participating band performances and scheduled clinics are free and open to the public. Please join us in supporting the talented students attending and performing at the festival.

The festival will feature two fantastic guest artists: saxophonist Lucas Pino, and pianist Glenn Zaleski. Lucas and Glenn are highly in demand on the New York City jazz scene and internationally, both as performers and educators. Their experience and perspective as emerging artists from our current generation will certainly inspire all in attendance at the festival.


Tenor Saxophonist Lucas Pino works frequently as a sideman for artists including Gideon van Gelder, Richard Boukas, David Lopato, Bryan Carter, Rafal Sarnecki, Nick Finzer, and Jeremy Siskind. His past performance experience also includes Dave Brubeck, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Christian McBride, Carl Allen, Benny Green and David Sanborn. Lucas has traveled to play in Australia, Poland, Spain, Britain, The Netherlands, Brazil, Costa Rica, as he has appeared at venues such as the Blue Note, Dizzy's, The Jazz Standard, Yoshi's, The Jazz Kitchen, The Rex, and Chicago Symphony Hall. As a leader, he has maintained a monthly residency at Smalls with the No Net Nonet since March 2013. [read more]


Glenn Zaleski is one of the most in-demand pianists on the New York City jazz scene. Originally from Boylston, MA, Glenn has made a name for himself playing with the likes of Ravi Coltrane, Lage Lund, and Ari Hoenig. His debut album, "My Ideal", was released in March of 2015 on Sunnyside Records and has been receiving critical acclaim: Downbeat Magazine named it "sublime", Jazz Times called it, "an engaging set by a talent worth watching," and the New York Times named the record a "strong statement," praising its "fluent but unhurried sense of phrase". [read more]

Lucas Pino and Glenn Zaleski will give an open clinic on Friday, February 26th at 1:00 pm in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium. The clinic is free and open to the public. Our Guest Artist Concert will be Friday, February 26th at 8pm featuring Lucas and Glenn with NAU Jazz Ensemble One in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium. Tickets will be available through the NAU Central Ticket Office.

$15 students/$20 adults in advance or $20/$25 at the door. 
Local Phone: 928-523-5661
Toll Free: 888-520-7214

We are pleased to announce that this year’s adjudicator/clinicians will include Roxy Coss (NY), Nick Manson (AZ), Dom Moio (AZ), Eric Rasmussen (AZ), Russell Schmidt (AZ), and David Valdez (OR).

For more information about the festival please contact NAU Jazz Studies at 928-523-3779 or email Jazz.Studies@nau.edu

The linked schedule (above) outlines participating band performances, guest artist masterclass, and clinics with NAU Music faculty.