Message from Festival Director Dr. Ray Smith:

Dear Fellow Jazz Band Directors,

Welcome to a new year of exciting jazz adventures! I hope your school year is off to a great start. I especially hope you are looking forward to joining us for the 2017 BYU Essentially Ellington Regional Jazz Festival. We're excited about our alliance with Jazz at Lincoln Center and the increased educational opportunities that this partnership allows us to bring you.

We are excited to announce our dates for the 2016-2017 school year: March 3-4, 2017. Please put this date on your calendar and hold the date to join us for a fantastic, educational, and inspiring day.

Your festival experience will include an adjudicated performance, a 30-minute post-performance clinic with one of the Essentially Ellington clinicians, written and recorded comments from all the judges, a recording of your performance, a variety of clinics for students AND directors, and tickets to the evening concert featuring the world renowned big band, Synthesis, with guest soloists. Synthesis will perform both evenings of March 3 and 4.

Exciting news! We will have two Essentially Ellington Clinicians for the festival this year, so every band will hear from one of the EE Clinicians. These clinicians are top-notch educators who have usually won the big Ellington Festival in New York with their bands. We are very fortunate indeed this year to have the famous Pharez Whitted and Bob Stewart as our Ellington Clinicians. We will also be having Tamir Hedelman join us as a teacher sharing with us his years of experiance with the piano. We are also planning a performance of the Utah All-State Jazz Band that day. We have had extremely rewarding and inspiring festivals the last couple of years, and this year will continue that tradition.

Please consult the accompanying online links and the included information on this website for all the details of how to be involved.

We are going to have a cut-off on the number of bands who can attend so we can keep the quality of the experience for each ensemble right at the top, so please register soon.

With warmest wishes,
Ray Smith
Festival Director