NAU’s 57th Jazz Festival brings rising music stars to Flagstaff campus

Feb. 13, 2019

Northern Arizona University’s School of Music is celebrating its 57th annual Jazz Festival with performances that will strike a chord with music lovers alike.

Held Feb. 21-23, the NAU Jazz festival is a non-competitive forum in which high school and junior high bands perform for a panel of esteemed adjudicators, receive ratings and feedback and participate in clinics and recordings.

The Guest Artist Concert, known for bringing jazz greats to Flagstaff, will continue its tradition as NAU Jazz Ensemble One performs with the Fabian Almazan Trio at 8 p.m. Feb. 22 in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium. The trio, featuring bassist Linda Oh and drummer Henry Cole, will be joined by renowned saxophonist and NAU Jazz Studies Artist-in-Residence Brice Winston.

“This New York City-based trio features three of the brightest rising stars in jazz,” said NAU Jazz Studies director Chris Finet. “All are bandleaders, composers and educators in their own right. They collectively collaborate with some of music’s most iconic artists, including Terence Blanchard, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton and Quincy Jones.”

NAU Jazz Studies has multiple big bands and small groups that are featured in concerts throughout the course of the festival. Students in the ensembles perform a variety of traditional big band music, original compositions and arrangements and new approaches to jazz standards.

“Many students are talented improvisers and often get the opportunity to be featured as soloists,” Finet said.

Advance tickets to the guest artist concert will be $20 for adults and $15 for students, seniors and staff. Prices increase $5 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the NAU Central Ticket Office in the University Union, online at or by phone at (928) 523-5661.