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Essentially Ellington Festival (Info for Bands)

Essentially Ellington Festival

High school jazz ensembles throughout the region will swing their way onto the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to participate in a day of performances and workshops. The 7:30pm concluding concert is open to the public and will feature participating bands, clinicians, and The SIUE Concert Jazz Band. 

Co-sponsored by New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center and The St. Louis Jazz Club, the regional festival is a non-competitive, education-focused festival designed to offer high school jazz bands of all levels the opportunity to perform the music of Duke Ellington and other seminal big band composers and arrangers. 

Each band will receive feedback from clinicians in a dress rehearsal, directly followed by written feedback in performance. 

Thanks to the St. Louis Jazz Club’s support, additional clinicians have been added while keeping the event free of charge for participating schools. The primary goal of The St. Louis Jazz Club is to support live traditional jazz performance and broaden the understanding of the music.

Questions can be directed to Jason Swagler, Director of Jazz Studies, at


General Schedule (Tentative)

  • 8:30-12:00 Band clinics and performances 
  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00-1:50 Student jam session
  • 2:00-2:50 SIUE Concert Jazz Band open rehearsal led by guest clinician director
  • 3:00-3:50 Instrument masterclasses
  • 4:00-4:50 Each band rehearses with assigned guest artists for evening concert
  • 5:00-7:00 Break for dinner
  • 7:30 Evening concert with participating bands, guest artists, and SIUE Concert Jazz Band


Festival Clinicians

Distinguished Guest Clinicians

Guest Clinicians

SIUE Jazz Faculty
  • Rick Haydon
  • Garrett Schmidt
  • Brett Stamps
  • Jason Swagler
  • Miles Vandiver


Band Registration