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 2018 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 2017-2018 school year: Saturday, February 17th, 2018. 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 February 16th and 17th. We are excited to have your band attend and hope you'll plan on spending the entire day attending our clinics and listening to the other bands and one of the evening concerts. We are sure this will be an inspirational event.  

Exciting news!

Dr. Ed Calle will be joining us as a guest soloist and clinician. Around the globe, Calle is a renowned musician, composer, orchestrator, scholar, professor, and leader. Throughout his legendary career, Calle has become one of the most recorded saxophonists in history appearing on more than 1,200 albums. Dr. Calle will playing in the Synthesis Concert and will be providing us with an exciting clinic. 

We will also 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 won the big Ellington Festival in New York with their bands. We are very fortunate indeed this year to have the drummer Justin DiCioccio and Greg Bunge, the finalist director from Badger High School in Lake Geneva, WI. 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