University hosts the 52nd annual Reno Jazz Festival

World-renowned professional musicians to perform alongside more than 9,000 young jazz musicians

The 2013 Reno Jazz Festival included a performance by the guest group Matt Wilson’s Art & Crafts. This year, the 52nd annual Reno Jazz Festival is held at the University of Nevada, Reno Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, April 12. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

4/3/2014 | By: Annie Conway  |

This year marks the 52nd annual Reno Jazz Festival held at the University of Nevada, Reno Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, April 12.

The festival brings the finest jazz educators and musicians to the University each spring to perform and teach at the Reno Jazz Festival. This year, the tradition continues with evening concerts by world-renowned guest artists, as well as daytime competitions, workshops and clinics by scores of professional jazz artists for more than 9,000 young jazz musicians from throughout the West.

“The Reno Jazz Festival gives students the opportunity to interact with some of the best jazz musicians in the world, both in workshop and performance situations,” Larry Engstrom, director of the School of the Arts and director of the Reno Jazz Festival, said. “This can open their eyes to greater possibilities and understanding of the music and it also can encourage them to strive toward becoming a better musician.”

Jazz Festival Parking Map

Friday, April 11: Free parking in the West Stadium Parking Complex
Saturday, April 12: Free parking in the West Stadium Complex and Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex.
For events in the Church Fine Arts building, guests are encouraged to use the north entrance, as parts of the building are under construction.
Parking information for 2014 Reno Jazz Festival.

Jazz Parking Map

The jazz festival begins at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 10, in Nightingale Concert Hall with a concert featuring trumpeter Avishai Cohen who will perform with the University's faculty jazz ensemble, The Collective. Cohen is an accomplished jazz musician who records with his trio Tiveni and tours as part of the prestigious SF Jazz Collective as well as with his family's ensemble, The 3 Cohens Sextet. 

Throughout the course of the 52 years, the Reno Jazz Festival has hosted 18 National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Masters, dozens of Grammy award nominees and 35 Grammy winners. This year, the Grammy-nominated quintet Kneebody will perform at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 11, in the Lawlor Events Center. Kneebody includes keyboardist Adam Benjamin, who will join the University's faculty in the Music Department next fall, trumpeter Shane Endsley, bassist Kaveh Rastegar, saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood. The group paired with vocalist Theo Bleckmann on the album, "12 Songs of Charles Ives," which earned a Grammy nomination in the classical-crossover category.

The three-day festival ends with an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, April 12, at Lawlor Events Center, to honor the best and brightest young jazz students who attend and perform during the festival.

The public can purchase tickets to the individual festival events online or at the Lawlor Events Center box office, open weekdays 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Festival Jazz Fan Passes are also available, which provide entry to all festival concerts and events. The cost for the fan pass is $60 for general admission and $50 for seniors. Tickets may also be purchased at the door the evening of each performance if the concert is not sold out. For more information, contact Extended Studies at 775-784-4046 or email


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