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Berklee’s High School Jazz Festival Turns 40

The Berklee College of Music’s annual High School Jazz Festival, the oldest and largest competition of its kind in the U.S., will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday, February 9th, at the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass., from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. More than 3,000 students and 200 bands will perform and compete for tuition scholarships totaling $175,000, the highest amount awarded in the history of the festival.

Berklee’s High School Jazz Festival, originally known as the New England High School Stage Band Festival, was initiated by former college president Lee Elliot Berk. Over the years, thousands of high school students and music educators have benefited from the performance evaluations, clinics, workshops, and scholarship opportunities available.

In addition to the competition of the participants, there will be concerts presented by Berklee student groups including the Berklee Salsa Ensemble, Berklee Tower of Power Ensemble, the Berklee Rainbow Band, and Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra and directed by faculty members Bernardo Hernandez, Wayne Naus, Phil Wilson, and Greg Hopkins, respectively. Clinics by alumni John Blackwell (drummer for Prince and Justin Timberlake) and Terri Lyne Carrington (pictured, current drummer for Herbie Hancock) will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Announcements of the winners of awards and scholarships will take place at 6:00 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

The full schedule is as follows:

Berklee Salsa Ensemble (concert), directed by assistant professor Bernardo Hernandez, room 300, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Berklee Tower of Power Ensemble (concert), directed by associate professor Wayne Naus, room 300, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Professor Terri Lyne Carrington (drum clinic), room 100, 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Berklee Rainbow Band (concert), directed by professor Phil Wilson, Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 2:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

Alumnus John Blackwell (drum clinic), room 100, 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra (concert), directed by professor Greg Hopkins, Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Originally Published