Jazz Festival

MSU Jazz Festival returns February 26, 2022!

MSU jazz student musicians playing their saxophones

Join us for a great day of jazz performance and jazz education.

Guest Artist Information

Photo of MSU Jazz Festival Guest Charles McPhersonCharles McPherson

Charles McPherson was born in Joplin, Missouri and moved to Detroit, Michigan at age nine. After growing up in Detroit, he studied with the renowned pianist Barry Harris and started playing jazz professionally at age 19. He moved from Detroit to New York in 1959 and performed with Charles Mingus from 1960 to 1972. While performing with Mingus, he collaborated frequently with Harris, Lonnie Hillyer, and George Coleman.

McPherson has performed at concerts and festivals with his own variety of groups, consisting of quartets, quintets to full orchestras. Fifteen years ago, he was featured at Lincoln Center showcasing his original compositions, and once again joined Wynton Marsalis and J@LC Orchestra in April, 2019, honoring his 80th birthday where they arranged and performed seven of McPherson's iconic original compositions.

In addition, McPherson has toured the U.S., Europe, Japan, Africa, and South America with his own group, as well as with jazz greats Barry Harris, Billy Eckstine, Lionel Hampton, Nat Adderley, Jay McShann, Phil Woods, Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, and others. He has recorded as a leader on Prestige, Fantasy, Mainstream, Discovery, Xanadu, Arabesque, Capri and several smaller labels in Europe and Japan.

Event Details

Saturday, February 26, 2022

  • Spend the day on the Missouri State University campus performing and learning with jazz musicians.
  • Registration required.
  • Categories are available for middle school and high school big bands and jazz combos.
  • Each group will perform for a panel of jazz adjudicators and receive a 30-minute clinic immediately following their performance.
  • School bands have the option of participating in the competitive or non-competitive divisions.
  • The day will end with an awards ceremony and concert presented by the MSU Jazz Studies Ensemble I and featured clinicians.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).


Complete the form below to register your ensemble(s).
Space is limited; time slots reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

School and Contact Information

Mailing (street or PO) address


A valid email address is required for all festival communication.

Ensemble Registration

Divisions include Big Band, 2nd Bands, Jr Hi/Mid School Bands, Combos. Registration type is competitive or non-competitive.
All bands receive a brief critique after their performance, as time allows.

Entry fee: $250


Entry fee: $180


Entry fee: $110


Entry fee: $110


Entry fee: $110

Human verification