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7 April 2006

JSU Jazz I Ensemble Tops in Alabama

Three years ago the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame began the yearly selection of the top collegiate jazz band in Alabama. This yearly competition brings together collegiate jazz bands from colleges and universities throughout the state of Alabama to Birmingham for a weekend of performances and judging events. Judges are top jazz performers and jazz educators from around the nation.

Jazz I Ensemble from Jacksonville State University holds a unique position in the history of jazz in Alabama as they were selected as the Band of Distinction, the best collegiate jazz band in the first Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame competition.

History repeated itself on the first weekend in April at the annual competition when JSU Jazz I was again proclaimed as the top Collegiate Jazz Band in the state of Alabama, the Band of Distinction. Under the direction of Dr. Chip Crotts Jazz I has had a busy season of performances and appearances both on and off campus.

Last spring JSU Jazz I appeared as one of the ten invited groups at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, the oldest and most prestigious collegiate jazz festival in the country. This year they appeared in concert on campus with noted New York jazz performer Wycliffe Gordon.

Jacksonville State University jazz musicians made a clean sweep of the competition this year as one of the JSU Combos took top honors as the best Jazz Combo as well.

The JSU Jazz program under Dr. Crotts’ direction has grown in size and reputation. The program now supports three full student jazz big bands as well as several jazz combos of varying sizes and instrumentations. Dates for upcoming campus performances by various jazz ensembles can be found on the Web page of the David L. Walters Department of Music at Events Calendar.

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