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University of Minnesota Morris Jazz Festival

Your health and wellbeing, and that of the community, are of the utmost importance to the University of Minnesota. For this reason, the University of Minnesota Morris will be cancelling the 2021 Jazz Fest.

Thank you for your partnership and patience as we work together to keep our community healthy.

Stay tuned for more details and updates about Jazz Fest 2022!

University of Minnesota Morris 42nd Annual Jazz Fest (Spring 2020)

The UMN Morris Jazz Fest is a non-competitive festival open to high school and middle school jazz big bands and jazz combos. Our goal is to provide a memorable and interactive jazz experience. The 2020 Jazz Fest celebrated Latin Jazz, a brilliant fusion of Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, and American music styles!

2020 Guest Artists (more info below):

Solomon Parham, trumpet
Scott Agster, trombone
Ryan Frane, piano
Jeff Bailey, bass
Pete James Johnson, drums

Evening Performance

Friday, April 3, 7:30 p.m.
Edson Auditorium, Student Center

UMN Morris Jazz Ensemble 1 with guest artists
Guest Artist Quintet
UMM Alumni Jazzers Big Band
West Central All-Stars Big Band

2020 Features

  • Welcome Jazz Combos! – If you cannot bring your big band, bring a jazz combo! We now have separate, lower cost registration for combos.
  • Meet the Guest Artists - Masterclasses and question/answer sessions with all of our Guest Artists.
  • Outstanding Soloist Awards - Multiple "outstanding soloists" will be selected to perform during the evening concert.
  • Instrument Specific Masterclasses - Afternoon masterclasses will offer something for each instrument/section (saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and rhythm section)
  • Friday Evening Jam Session - Guest Artists and UMM students will host an after-hours jam session. Anyone is welcome to play!

2020 Guest Artists/Clinicians

Solomon Parham

Picture of Solomon Parham

Trumpet Player Solomon J. Parham, a native of the Motor City itself, Detroit, MI, is an up and comer here in the Twin Cities and is one whose performances are not to be missed. Solomon began his musical education in Detroit at the age of 9, studying trumpet with Herbie Williams. Solomon knew at this early age that the trumpet would be his instrument of choice, and so it was with that he began to embark upon his musical journey that would later develop into a rewarding career. Time proceeded, as did Solomon’s desire to grow musically and to further cultivate his musical awareness.

Solomon graduated from Wayne State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education. He then served as mentor/member of the Civic Jazz Orchestra (CJO), a Jazz education youth outreach program funded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Later he became Director of Bands in the Lansing (MI) Public School District.

He is a best kept secret here in the Twin Cities, as he is a man of many talents. He has been making his way throughout the Twin Cities for 5 years now, but it is only recently that Minnesota has opened their eyes and arms to him. He has played on stages with several well respected musicians such as Delfeayo Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Eric Kamau Gravatt, Anthony Cox, Saxophonist Eric Alexander, Wess Anderson, and Bassist Christian McBride, to name a few. He has truly worked with the best of the best throughout his music career both in Michigan and Minnesota while maintaining healthy relationships with many of those great performers. As a musician, one has to be well rounded and Solomon has done just that and more. He is a Trumpet performer, trumpet instructor, Jazz band ensemble director, music educator and producer in digital music. His repertoire list is extensive, including everything from Hip Hop to Jazz. Though Jazz is a large part of his life, he has integrated music technology to enhance his musicianship. Solomon is a dedicated music educator and continues to uplift his music endeavors throughout the community.

Scott Agster

Picture of Scott Agster

Dr. Scott Agster previously helds the Assistant Ensemble Department Head position at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN.  He remains active as a clinician, guest artist, and educational leader.  He currently holds the position of Jazz Honor Band Site Coordinator for the Minnesota Band Directors Association, he has attended the MMEA All State Jazz Band as a Section Coach, and he performs many educational outreach events.

Agster is also an active performer.  He is currently a full time member of several bands including: Salsa del Soul, Jack Brass Band, Snowblind Jazz Quintet, and the Explosion Big Band.  He has had the opportunity to perform and work with many acclaimed artists and groups such as: The Doc Severinsen Orchestra, The One O'Clock Lab Band, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The JazzMN Big Band, Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, Dave Douglas, Phil Woods, Nicholas Payton, Sheila E., Pinetop Perkins, Aaron Neville, Kenny Loggins, Slide Hampton and Trombone Shorty.

Agster earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Trombone Performance from the University of Minnesota.  He also holds a Master of Music in Trombone Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of North Texas.

Jeff Bailey

Picture of Jeff Bailey

Jeff Bailey has performed in a wide variety of musical settings as a musician, composer, producer, and educator. He has performed with world renowned Jazz artists: Captain Jack McDuff, Craig Taborn,

James Carter, Nachito Herrera, Eric Gravatt, Tim Reis, Rodney Jones, Wessel Anderson, Justin Robinson, Geoff Keezer, Peruvian Guitar master Andres Prado, and James Moody. Never one to be pigeonholed into a single style, Jeff has also toured or performed with: Joey McIntyre (NKOTB) Charles Lazarus(MN

Orchestra), Carol Rogers (Sergio Mendes), Chastity Brown, Doc Severinsen, Jonathan Brooke, Heather Headley, and Charley Drayton. Committed to the interactive experience of live music, Jeff has logged time on the road touring and presenting clinics in the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, China, Peru, and Japan. Jeff has served as musical director for Keith Antar Mason's Hittite Empire and the Black Fathers

and Sons project at the B.A.M. Next Wave Festival in New York, with photographer Albert Chong and writer Quincy Troupe. Mr. Bailey has received accolades for producing a Minnesota Music Award winning CD for Alicia Wiley and receiving a Best of the Twin Cities Award as a founding member of Moveable Feast.

Ryan Frane

Picture of Ryan Frane

Ryan Frane is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he oversees the jazz studies major and jazz studies program, teaches Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Combo I, Jazz Theory, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz Piano and other courses. Ryan also coordinates the annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival at UMD, drawing internationally known artists and high schools from throughout the state. Under his direction the UMD Jazz Ensemble I has performed in Italy, Switzerland and Holland at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals, as well as performing at the MMEA and WMEA annual conferences, UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival and throughout the region.

As a pianist, Ryan has performed throughout the country as well as in Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Holland and France. Ryan has performed with the Green Bay Packers band and was a member of the Denver Nuggets house band. He has performed locally with the Big Time Jazz Orchestra, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Arrowhead Chorale, Lake Superior Youth Chorus and many others including his own small groups. Ryan’s most recent trio recording entitled “People We Know” features all original compositions with the exception of one standard. Also, Ryan has backed or performed with many musicians including The Mills Brothers, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Bobby Vinton, Steve Lippia, Tom Harrell, Wes Anderson, Rex Richardson, Ingrid Jensen, Jim Snidero and many others. Ryan has been an active clinician and performer at several colleges across the country including the University of Northern Colorado, University of South Dakota, University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Tiffin University, Lawrence Conservatory, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and the University of Southern Colorado.

Ryan has conducted numerous honor bands in Minnesota and Wisconsin and has been a section coach for the MMEA All State Jazz Ensemble. Internationally, Ryan has performed master classes at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Boulogne-Billancourt (Paris, France), Conservatoire National de Région Lyon (Lyon, France) and Petrosovadsk State Conservatory (Karelia, Russia). Under Ryan’s direction, graduates of the UMD jazz studies program have gone on to become teachers (collegiate level) performers and graduate students at some of the nation’s strongest jazz schools while also becoming great contributors to society.

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and a Masters of Music in theory and composition from the University of Northern Colorado.

Pete James Johnson

Picture of Pete Johnson

Pete Johnson serves as director of Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos and applied drumset at College of St. Benedict/St. John's University. In addition, he maintains a busy performing schedule around the United States and the world.

Pete has performed and toured with the Grammy-winning Bob Mintzer Big Band, Ambrose Akinmusire, Bob Reynolds, Alan Pasqua, Darek Oles, Carl Saunders, Otmaro Ruiz, Bob Sheppard, Russ Ferrante, Maple & Beech and more. In addition, Pete has worked as a session drummer for Capitol Records and is on over 50 albums of jazz and pop artists. In addition to his time at CSB/SJU, Pete maintains a busy touring schedule with Twin Cities groups and has toured North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

In 2015 Pete received his masters of music in jazz studies at the University of Southern California, where he studied with Peter Erskine, Ndugu Chancler, Aaron Serfaty, and Bill Platt. In 2009 he received a bachelor of arts in music at Minnesota State University, where he studied with Allen Carter.