Winter Jazz Festival

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Festival Information

The Marshall University Winter Jazz Festival is one of the oldest collegiate jazz festival in North America. Founded in 1969, the festival is held in February of each year and features performance by the tri-state areas finest middle school and high school jazz ensembles along with clinics and performances by world-renown jazz artists. High school & middle school jazz ensembles and combos of any size are invited to participate. Each group will receive feedback and have the opportunity to work with and witness some of the best professional jazz musicians in the country.  Past guest artists include Steve Turre, Ashlin Parker, Jim Snidero, The Sean Jones Quintet, & The Stan Kenton Orchestra.

The 51st Winter Jazz Festival will be held February 21-22, 2020.  Our special guests this year will be Monika Herzig, jazz pianist, and her group The Time Flies

About Monika Herzig

Monika Herzig is an internationally acclaimed jazz pianist, composer, and educator.  Awarded the prestigious Jazz Journalist Association’s "JAZZ HERO" award for the city of Bloomington in 2015, Monika also won the Down Beat Magazine Award, Best Original Song (1994) and has received grants from the NEA, the Indiana Arts Commission and MEIEA, among others. As a Doctor of Music Education at Indiana University, she serves as a Senior Lecturer in Arts Management and has also authored two critically praised books, Dr. David Baker – A Legacy in Music, foreword by Quincy Jones (IU Press 2011) and Experiencing Chick Corea – A Listener’s Companion (Rowman & Littlefield 2017), praised by Wolfgang Knauer at Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, "Herzig manages a perfect balance of musical analysis and context for the chosen recordings as well as Chick Corea’s career…easy to read, well-organized and motivates – which is still the highest achievement for music literature – for repeated listening."

As a touring jazz pianist, Herzig has performed at prestigious jazz clubs and festivals around the world. Most recently, Herzig can be heard on MDG Records’ David Baker: Singer of Songs, for which she also wrote the liner notes as well as with her own group SHEroes (Whaling City Sounds, 2016, 2018) and The Time Flies (White Fur Studios, 2017, 2018).

About The Time Flies

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved playing piano. She got pretty good and explored some jazzy tunes when a guitar prince asked her to join a jazz group. She took the plunge and immersed herself into the world of jazz and writing music and absolutely fell in love with it. The group became quite successful especially after the guitar prince and the keyboard girl eloped to the land of jazz – the US of A. They recorded many albums together and opened for some popular fusion groups, i.e. Tower of Power, the Dixie Dregs, Sting, Santana, and built a career together. But the jazz universe decided that fusion music was wrong and should be abandoned. All the other jazz gods turned to their acoustic roots and created repertory bands. The guitar prince and keyboard girl decided to start a family and the electronic instruments gathered dust in the basement. But one day, a producer fairy invited them to revive their old passions and fusion roots. They traveled to Germany and took along a drum baron and a bass professor and teamed up with some of the German saxophone gods. The result was a smoking LP recording on Flavored Tune that got picked up by a German distribution company. Based on the initial success, the group embarked on the next chapter with tours around Europe, even to Azerbaijan, the East Coast and Midwest. The king of Jazz Urbane invited them to host Powerline, the new Time Flies recording, on his prestigious label. On August 26, 2019 the powerful recording will be released to the world for the whole kingdom to enjoy. They say the first love is the deepest – this is how it all started!


Festival Schedule

The festival begins on Friday, February 21 with performances by middle and high school jazz bands, each of which will receive a clinic from adjudicators Ed Bingham, Rick Tolbert, Danny Cecil, or Nick Vassar. Friday afternoon and evening highlights include a masterclass by Monika Herzig and performances by MU Jazz Combo I, the MU Jazz Ensemble I with special guest Monika Herzig (piano), and Huntington’s own Jewel City Jazz Orchestra. The festival will continue on Saturday, February 22 with more school band performances and clinics in the morning and afternoon. Saturday afternoon and evening highlights include a second masterclass by Monika Herzig and performances by the Thundering Herd All-Star Big Band, and our featured group The Time Flies.

Select students and sections will receive outstanding soloist and section awards at a brief awards ceremony held during the evening concerts.


Festival Registration

To register your jazz ensemble or combo for the festival, please click the link below. Application deadline is January 31, 2020.

Winter Jazz Festival Registration

Thundering Herd All-Star Big Band Nominations

The Thundering Herd All-Star Big Band, comprised of director-nominated students, is one of the highlights of the MU Winter Jazz Festival. High School directors are encouraged to nominate students for participation n the Thundering Herd All-Star Big Band. Directors may send nominations in bulk via email by clicking here.

Each student recommended must also fill out an online application! An audio or video file of the student playing a jazz selection must be submitted via the online form. This allows us to place students where they will enjoy the most success within the ensemble.  Directors, start thinking about any students that you feel could best represent your schools! Application deadline is January 31, 2020.

Thundering Herd All-Star Application


History of the Festival

Past Guest Artists

2019 – Rob Parton & The Columbus Jazz Orchestra

2018 – Bob Thompson & Tom Hildreth

2017 – Steve Turre & Ashlin Parker

2016 – Jim Snidero & Reggie Watkins