Great Plains Jazz Festival
The Great Plains Jazz Festival features nationally renowned adjudicators, clinicians and guest artists. The festival is designed to be an educational experience for band directors and students from middle school through college. Ensembles perform for written and recorded comments and then proceed to a different room for a clinic from one of the adjudicators. In addition to the individualized clinic that each band receives, participants also have the opportunity to attend general clinic sessions presented by guest artists and adjudicators. The highlight of the festival is the opportunity to hear professional jazz concerts for free or greatly reduced prices.
Jazz artists that have recently appeared at the Great Plains Jazz Festival include Brubeck Brothers, Bela Fleck, Doc Severinsen, Diane Schuur, the Jim Widner Big Band, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Jim Pugh, Marvin Stamm, Hubert Laws, and the Blue Note 7 featuring Ravi Coltrane and Nicholas Payton.
2017 Great Plains Jazz Festival featuring Sean Jones and Eric Marienthal
- Friday Festival Participants will perform at the University of Nebraska Omaha Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall and Milo Bail Student Center.
- Saturday Festival Participants will perform at the Holland Performing Arts Center Scott Recital Hall.
- Evening headliner performances will take place both nights at 8 P.M. Saturday's concert will feature the Sean Jones.
Guest Artist & Clinicians
Thrilling hard bop trumpeter and composer Sean Jones balances technical virtuosity with the music of his gospel-embedded upbringing. Jones, who served as the lead trumpet for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra until 2010, stands out from the horn-blowing pack with his bright, muscular tone and impeccable sense of swing.
"When Jones solos, soaring with a gentle strength as his band swells behind him, it’s not just a pretty melody…It’s praise." - JazzTimes
Eric Marienthal is one of LA's top call studio musicians, having performed on countless television and motion picture sound tracks.
He is also the lead alto saxophonist in Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and has performed with Chick Corea, the Yellowjackets, Billy Joel, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder to name only a few. Eric has published several instructional videos and method books and has recorded 14 CDs as a leader.
School performances at the Great Plains Jazz Festival are free and open to the public.
Tickets are required for the evening headliner concerts. At this time tickets are not available, we will begin selling early 2017.
Friday, February 24 at 8 P.M. | Featuring Eric Marienthal with Mike Gurciullo's Las Vegas Big Band
- Tickets for Friday are $15 general admission and $5 for students and directors
- Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall
Saturday, February 25 at 8 P.M. | Featuring Sean Jones
- Tickets for Saturday are $15 general admission and $5 for students and directors
- Holland Performing Arts Center Scott Recital Hall
2017 Omaha Performing Arts Combo Competition (Saturday Only)
Omaha Performing Arts will be holding their annual jazz combo competition in conjunction with the UNO Great Plains Jazz Festival. This annual competition element of the festival provides outstanding student ensembles a chance to shine in a combo setting. Winners will perform as the opening act to an upcoming Jazz Concert and will also perform at a masterclass.
- High School and College student jazz combos of 10 or fewer musicians are eligible to compete.
- Combos will have a clinic in the same venue after their performance in the remaining allotted performance time.
- Fee: $50 per Jazz ComboTerms and conditions of competition and performance prize are subject to change.
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