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ISU Jazz Festival

2023 ISU Jazz Festival with Donny McCaslin

April 21 and 22, 2023

The annual Illinois State University Jazz Festival is the highlight of the year for jazz on campus. The special guest artist for 2023 is saxophonist, composer, and educator Donny McCaslin. McCaslin will present a free masterclass to all festival participants each day and will be featured extensively in two showings of a collaborative performance with ISU Jazz Ensembles directed by Tom Marko.

Competing Jr. High and High School jazz ensembles

  • perform in the 800 seat Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall
  • receive numerical scores along with recorded and written comments from a panel of three expert jazz educators
  • one of the judges may offer comments and/or a brief clinic depending on time available

Bands that want to perform “non-competitively” are also welcome. 

Event Details

  • Schedule

    • The Friday concert will be held at 8 p.m.
    • The Saturday concert is currently scheduled for 6 p.m., but may be adjusted slightly depending on the competition schedule.

    The final schedule will be determined as registrations are received and will be posted approximately two weeks prior to the festival.

    Application deadline is Friday, March 31, 2023.


    Please email Dr. Tom Marko with any questions.

  • Fees

    The fee for each Jr. High or High School jazz ensemble is $300 for big bands and $200 for combos, and includes

    • entry into the competition (grouped into categories by school size)
    • complementary admission for participants to one of the evening concerts
    • open access to the guest artist masterclass
    • a brief on-stage band clinic or comments from one of the adjudicators