Berklee's High School Jazz Festival, March 5

Nick Balkin
February 11, 2011
A performer at the 2010 High School Jazz Festival.
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Berklee's 43rd High School Jazz Festival will showcase over 3,000 students and 200 big bands, combos, and vocal ensembles from California to New England competing for $175,000 in scholarships to Berklee's summer programs. The annual event, the largest of its kind in the United States, will include clinics and concerts by the acclaimed a cappella group Pitch Slapped; faculty drummer Kenwood Dennard (Wayne Shorter, George Clinton); Berklee's Concert Jazz Orchestra; the Global Jazz Institute, City Music, Salsa, and P-Funk ensembles, and more.

All concerts and clinics are free and open to the public. The festival will take place on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Scholarship and award winners will be announced at 6:00 p.m., followed by a winners showcase concert at 7:15 p.m.

Berklee was recently awarded a $68,600 Jazz.NEXT grant to develop a High School Jazz Festival website to extend the reach of this single event to a year-round, interactive, online community for high school jazz instructors and students. It will offer instructional webcasts, online access to student and faculty clinics, artist profiles, and festival and campus performances, among other content. Jazz.NEXT, a national initiative launched in 2009, seeks innovative and substantive approaches incorporating technology to support jazz. This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

At the event, Berklee will name Radio Cremata the winner of this year's Take Note Award, which recognizes excellence in the teaching of contemporary music education. Cremata, a music teacher at La Salle High School (Miami, Florida), will receive a cash prize and an online education package through Berklee will also name John Sturm the winner of the first Herb Pomeroy Jazz Composition/Arranging Contest. Sturm, a student at Princeton High School (Princeton, New Jersey), will receive a full scholarship for summer study at Berklee and have his piece performed by the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra at the High School Jazz Festival.