The UNLV Division of Jazz and Commercial Music is proud to announce it has been selected to compete in the Jazz at Lincoln Center second annual Jack Rudin Jazz Championship, a two-day invitational competition featuring ensembles from 10 of the most well-regarded university jazz programs in the country. For the first time since March 2020, students will perform publicly on the Rose Theater stage for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jack Rudin Jazz Championship, set to take place Jan. 10-11, 2022, throughout Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, located on Broadway at 60th Street, New York, New York.
Although Jazz at Lincoln Center's hall was temporarily dark to audiences from March 2020 until the organization reopened on Nov. 18, 2021, Jazz at Lincoln Center provided resources for cultural nourishment and comfort in these uncertain times. The organization made available more than 1000 digital programs — including education programs Essentially Ellington, WeBop, Swing University, Summer Jazz Academy, and new programs including A Closer Listen and Inside the Score — to reach people all over the world and bring the healing power of jazz music into homes and communities.
The Jack Rudin Jazz Championship honors the legacy of Jack Rudin, longtime supporter of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and his founding support for Essentially Ellington, the organization’s signature transformative education program. Launched in 2020, right before the pandemic, the Jack Rudin Jazz Championship provides participating ensembles with quality literature and a forum for celebrating excellence and achievement, while introducing higher education to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s education methodology and philosophy—extending JALC’s educational mission into the sphere of professional development for the next generation of leading jazz artists.
The Jack Rudin Jazz Championship competition events will include a combo showcase in The Appel Room, an initial round of competition performances, and a final concert in Rose Theater featuring a performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as well as the final competition, with a second round of competition performances by the three top-placing bands, followed by an awards ceremony and announcement of the band taking top honors. The ensembles will also participate in rehearsals and workshops throughout Rose Hall over the course of the competition.
The 2022 competition will be judged by a panel of leading jazz performers, composers, and educators: Ayn Inserto, Camille Thurman, Jeff Hamilton, Randy Brecker, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis.
Marsalis says of the competition’s namesake, “Jack Rudin loved the music and believed in education. He believed in equal education for everyone and continued to support his high school, both financially and personally, for years after he had graduated. He was the first supporter for our Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival which is now in its 27th year, and we are proud to continue to honor him through this collegiate competition.”
Marsalis continues, “It’s an honor and privilege to welcome the finest collegiate students and educators from around the country to the House of Swing. Through workshops, performances, and collegial competition, the experience will exemplify the fellowship and community that is the hallmark of jazz. In these divided times, our arts exist to call us home to our greatest historic achievements and our highest aspirations.”
Jazz at Lincoln Center Vice President of Education, Todd Stoll, says, “These ten bands represent the highest level of achievement in our music by young people.”
Jazz at Lincoln Center serves the largest jazz education program network in the world, and its initiatives are based on the organization’s 34-year history of education in jazz performance and appreciation. Goals of each program are for students to gain insight into American vernacular music and jazz, learn the communal history of jazz in a sociopolitical context, receive guidance on how to better communicate personal objectives, and gain awareness of the mission of jazz musicians today building on the aspirations laid by earlier generations.