The UNLV Department of Music Jazz Studies Program received three prestigious DownBeat Magazine 36th Annual Student Music Awards in the upcoming June, 2013, issue. The UNLV Jazz Program garnered five DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards since 2010.
UNLV Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Dave Loeb and Nathan Tanouye, received the Large Ensemble Graduate College Outstanding Performance award. There were three university ensembles recognized in the Large Ensemble Graduate College category with the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab Band I and Cal State Northridge Jazz "A" Band sharing the honor as winner, with 45 entries in this division.
The UNLV Latin Jazz Ensemble, directed by Uli Geissendoerfer (a recent graduate of the UNLV Department of Music Jazz Studies Program), received a Latin Group Graduate College Outstanding Performance award, sharing the honor with the University of North Texas Laura Otero Columbian Project. The University of Miami Frost Recording Ensemble was the winner in this category, with 14 entries in this division.
John Summers, UNLV Department of Music Jazz Studies graduate student, received a Jazz Arrangement Graduate College Large Ensemble Outstanding Performance award for his arrangement of Michael Brecker's ,"African Skies". The winners in this category were Clint Ashlock, University of Kansas, and Monica Gastelumendi, University of North Texas. There were ten Outstanding Performance awards given in this category with 41 total entries in this division.
The DownBeat Student Music Awards, founded in 1976, are considered the most prestigious awards in jazz education. Hundreds of musicians, music educators and music industry professionals received their first international recognition as DownBeat Student Music Award winners. This year, there were 950 entries in 16 categories from distinguished music programs worldwide. The audio CD submissions, identified only by a code, were judged by leading jazz educators and renowned jazz performers, arrangers and composers through a "blind" audition process that insures absolute impartiality.