Conceived of in the waning months of 2016, the then unnamed jazz festival at Bainbridge High School was meant to fill a hole seen in the regional jazz education scene.  A festival that focused on developing the area's rhythm sections and soloists.  The hope was to inspire more schools to start combo programs, and to ignite further interest in jazz studies and deeper commitments to life long jazz performance.  It's easier for graduates to start a combo later in life than it is a big band, and great combo players in school make for even better big band players.  Put simply, the mission was to improve school jazz programs through focus on the often less-rehearsed components of the big band.

After some initial inquiries, Jim Stevens with Ted Brown Music offered to collaborate on the project.  He has been instrumental in helping bring in our festival guest artists, as well as helping to support our festival recording logistics.

Past Contest Results

2023-24 | 6th Annual

Saturday, January 20th

Kareem Kandi Trio

Kareem Kandi, sax; Drew Baddeley, bass; Jacques Willis, drums & vibes


Alphabetial order

2022-23 | 5th Annual

Saturday, April 15th

Susan Pascal Quartet

Susan Pascal, vibes; Bill Anschell, piano; Chris Symer, bass; Mark Ivester, drums.


2021-22 | 4th Annual

Saturday, May 21st

Brian Lawrence, piano & sax; Bailey Ehgott, guitar; Mike Sundt; Luca Cartner, drums.



Cancelled because of Covid-19


Cancelled because of Covid-19

2018-19 | 3rd Annual

Saturday, December 7th

Jared Hall, trumpet; John Hanson, piano; Ben Feldman, bass; Matt Jorgensen, drums.


2017-18 | 2nd Annual

Saturday, December 1st

Adjudicators: Dr David Deacon-Joyner & Tracy Knoop.Clinicians: Tracy Marsh, Terry Marsh, & Roy Brown.

Festival Photos (1) (2)


High Schools

Middle Schools

2016-17 | Inaugural Year

Saturday, December 2nd

Dr. Vanessa Sielert, sax; Dr. Vern Sielert, trumpet; Marcus Kitley, guitar; Dr. David Deacon-Joyner, piano; Marina Christopher, bass; D'Vonne Lewis, drums


High Schools

Middle Schools