Guest Artists, Competitions, Clinics.


Lage Lund with The Collective

Thursday, April 28, 2016
7:30 p.m.
Nightingale Concert Hall

Lage Lund is acclaimed not only as one of the finest guitarists of his generation, but also as one of the most compelling current jazz artists in the world. He is “all music and all soul”, according to Russell Malone, one of the judges who awarded Lund the top prize in the 2005 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Armed with a mastery of the standard repertoire and a growing body of original compositions, Lund swings with great authority, displaying a staggering harmonic sophistication and a singularly fluid voice as a soloist. He also brings a “casually magnetic” presence to the stage, “channeling reticence into a whisper-quiet mystique” (The New York Times).

Born and raised in Skien, Norway, Lage Lund relocated to Boston after high school and attended Berklee College of Music. In 2002 he moved to New York and soon became the first electric guitarist ever to enroll at the Juilliard School of Music. In the years since his Monk Competition award, he has become a sought-after sideman with the David Sanchez Quartet, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the Seamus Blake Quintet, the Mingus Orchestra and many more. He has been fortunate to have worked with statesmen and peers such as Ron Carter, Mulgrew Miller, Wynton Marsalis, Carmen Lundy, FLY, Marcus Strickland, Jaleel Shaw, Will Vinson, Aaron Parks, Kendrick Scott, Jimmy Greene and Ingrid Jensen, among others.

Lund will release a new trio album in 2015 with Matt Brewer and Johnathan Blake. In 2013 he released Foolhardy on the Criss Cross label, his follow up to the critically acclaimed Unlikely Stories is a vibrant set of mainly original tunes with a superb supporting cast: pianist Aaron Parks joining the returning bassist Ben Street and drummer Bill Stewart. In 2011 he brought out the independent live recording Small Club – Big City, produced by Jimmy Katz and recorded over several nights at the intimate Bar Next Door. This fine album captures the warm sound and intense interplay of Lage Lund’s trio with bassist Orlando Le Fleming and drummer Marcus Gilmore (Jamire Williams on two tracks). With the 2012 quartet release Live at Smalls, featuring Gilmore, Street and pianist Pete Rende, Lund continues to refine his artistry, bringing tonal clarity and an unerring sense of proportion to music recorded at Smalls, the famed Greenwich Village club. Through stateside appearances and live engagements throughout Europe, Japan and around the world, Lund has ascended to the highest ranks as a performer and a creative force. He is among those setting the agenda for jazz improvisation in the 21st century. (Courtesy of the artist.)

Lund appears with the University of Nevada, Reno’s acclaimed faculty jazz ensemble, The Collective.

One of the most creative and distinctive jazz ensembles in the northwestern United States, the University’s own faculty ensemble, The Collective features pianist Adam Benjamin, bassist Hans Halt, drummer Andrew Heglund and saxophonist Peter Epstein. In addition to maintaining a busy performing schedule, the group's members are dedicated instructors, and form the core of the Jazz Studies area at the University of Nevada, Reno. Each of the group's musicians is eager to share his knowledge of improvisation, composition, history and other aspects of the jazz craft.


For more about Lage Lund, visit

The Lage Lund with The Collective concert is included in the Jazz Fan, Full Festival and Thursday passes. Visit our Purchase page for options in buying individual concert tickets and for more information.

Photo of SFJAZZ

Snarky Puppy

UNR Jazz Lab Big Band

Friday, April 29, 2016
7:30 p.m.
Lawlor Events Center

Grammy Award-winning Snarky Puppy is truly a different kind of musical animal. The once Texan, now New York-based quasi-collective has gone from the best-kept secret to one of the most respected names in instrumental music. Although still “underground” in many respects, the band has earned high praise from critical stalwarts such as the BBC, The Village Voice, The Guardian, and Boston Herald, and has performed at some of the best venues and festivals in Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.

Snarky Puppy seamlessly fuses a deep knowledge and respect for musical tradition with sonic and conceptual innovation in a way that is able to reach the most critical — or most carefree — audience. The convergence of musicians from white and black America, which occurred while the band was in its adolescence at the University of North Texas, has naturally established a system of balance that instantly draws listeners to the music: raw funk and sensitive dynamics, relentless pocket and lyrical melodicism, lush harmony and soulful simplicity, and most importantly, a delicate mixture of composition, harmony, melody and improvisation.

The group is led by award-winning bassist/guitarist/composer/arranger Michael League, whose creative grassroots approach to a tougher-than-ever industry has created a new model for independent artists. Snarky Puppy is a three-headed creature: first, and most obviously, an original music ensemble. Second: a production team and session band for individual artists. Third, and probably most importantly: Snarky Puppy is a group of musicians enthusiastically committed to music education and community outreach. Working with groups like ROAM (Roots Of American Music) in inner city Cleveland and the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, as well as giving clinics at hundreds of colleges, high schools, and middle schools worldwide, the band has made a strong commitment to spreading their love of music and general positivity to a young generation looking for something real to be inspired by.

The band has always used live performance as its chief form of evangelism, and maintains a more intense tour schedule than almost any band in the idiom. Over the course of 2014, Snarky Puppy will have played almost 200 performances and workshops on four continents, including North Sea Jazz, Monterey Jazz Festival, Paris Jazz Festival, Blue Note Tokyo, EFG London Jazz Festival and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

Fresh off the heels of their 2014 Grammy win, Snarky Puppy released their latest album We Like It Here. Recorded live in the Pup’s signature style, the album debuted at #1 on the iTunes Jazz charts across the world and established the band as the standard-bearers for a new movement in jazz.

Keeping the momentum going, Snarky Puppy has just won the “Best New Artist” and “Best Electric/Jazz-Rock/Contemporary Group/Artist” categories in JazzTimes magazine’s reader’s annual poll.

In addition, the year 2015 will see the band release their first major label album, a groundbreaking collaboration, specially written orchestral suite with the world-famous Metropole Orkest on the legendary Impulse label. They will also be recording the second volume of their Grammy Award-winning Family Dinner series in New Orleans with a stellar guest artist lineup. (Courtesy of the artists.)

For more about Snarky Puppy, visit

The Snarky Puppy concert is included in the Jazz Fan, Full Festival and Friday passes. Visit our Purchase page for options in buying individual concert tickets and for more information.

Festival Showcase and Awards Ceremony

Saturday, April 30, 2016
6:30 p.m.
Lawlor Events Center

The Festival Showcase will feature a performance by the winners of the RJF All-Star Performers competition, and encore performances from some of the highest-rated groups and soloists in the festival.

During the showcase performances, awards will be given in recognition of individuals and groups who place in the top five of each category (top eight for middle school bands).

The Festival Showcase and Awards Ceremony concert is included in the Jazz Fan, Full Festival and Saturday Passes. Visit our Purchase page for options in buying individual concert tickets and for more information.


(Festival, Friday or Saturday Passes required.) The Reno Jazz Festival has expanded its commitment to providing educational opportunities during the festival. Clinics will cover topics including instrumental and vocal performance, jazz arranging and improvisation.