Guiding Values for the Reno Jazz Festival


The 2022 Festival will provide a more intensive and immersive learning experience for participants. Students will have more direct access to learn with and from clinicians and guest artists. The new Festival will also include multiple opportunities for participants to perform for live audiences in venues on and off campus.


The Reno Jazz Festival embodies equity – in terms of race, gender, socio-economic status and beyond. This value informs the artists to headline the Festival, the repertoire presented, educators involved and the scholarships awarded. Together we will examine how jazz can support an equitable and just future. As part of this effort, we’ve taken the Keychange pledge, to ensure that at least 50% of the artists we hire for the Festival are women and gender minorities each year. We have committed to consistently present headliner concerts that feature people of color and/or underrepresented backgrounds and gender/gender identities and to incorporate workshops and master classes in each Festival that discuss issues around gender and racial inequities in jazz.


The new non-competitive festival will allow for more time, energy, space and resources to be directed towards the educational and creative experience of each participating student. We recognize that the competition element of our festival has been centrally important for many schools and has proven to be an excellent motivating factor for students and programs. We also recognize that jazz and art in general, are innately non-competitive. To authentically embody this truth, the Reno Jazz Festival is now non-competitive.


The Reno Jazz Festival builds new connections with the jazz community locally, nationally and internationally. The Festival will be deeply integrated into our local community, with the addition of free performances at venues throughout the city, giving students the opportunity to perform for live public audiences.


We embrace a renewed focus on living artists and maintain a strong connection to the current creative climates and musical evolutions taking place across the world. The Festival strives to expand participant’s creative and cultural horizons, giving them educational tools to put to work as they continue their musical journeys. It connects them to a history that is so central to the story of the United States and an art form that is very much alive and thriving today.

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