Reno Jazz Festival at the University of Nevada, Reno

Performances to run April 25 to 27 in Nightingale Concert Hall

Three musicians playing their instruments on stage.

Reno Jazz Festival at the University of Nevada, Reno

Performances to run April 25 to 27 in Nightingale Concert Hall

Three musicians playing their instruments on stage.

The Reno Jazz Festival returns for its 62nd year with an incredible lineup of jazz artists and artist educators. The Festival celebrates jazz in its many facets, this year offering a richer, deeper and more diverse educational and artistic experience for participants and several evenings of spectacular performances.

Since its inception in 1962, the Reno Jazz Festival has endeavored to bring renowned jazz artists and educators to the University of Nevada, Reno campus to collaborate with talented students and their directors in a series of concerts, workshops and clinics. The Festival welcomes thousands of up-and-coming student jazz musicians from schools, colleges and universities around the Western states as they participate in educational clinics provided by industry professionals while getting a chance to perform and compete for coveted trophies. As one of the world’s largest and longest-running celebrations of jazz, the Reno Jazz Festival inspires young musicians to share in the vibrant exchange of creative ideas, skills and academic excellence while being a part of this prestigious festival community. Many jazz players have "cut their teeth" at the Festival and have gone on to have careers as performers and educators all around the U.S. and beyond.

Participants and attendees have access to two full days of daytime performances and jazz clinics, covering a range of topics presented by accomplished jazz musicians and Artist Educators from around the nation. Festival participants have the chance to collaborate and improvise alongside peers on Thursday at the Student Jam. Friday evening, professional musicians, artist educators and sometimes festival headliners host a top-caliber session that has been known to extend into the early morning.

Students perform for renowned artist educators during a 55-minute Performance Review. Each ensemble performs selections of its own choice and receives on-the-spot coaching and feedback immediately afterward.

The Festival wraps up with a Festival Showcase, featuring a curated selection of student performances that showcase creativity, innovation, fresh perspectives and exceptional sound.

Tickets are available for purchase for the entire Jazz Festival or individual evening performances.

Four people singing.

Thursday night, April 25, kicks off the Festival with a performance by Terell Stafford and the Manzanita Quintet at 7:30 p.m. in the Nightingale Concert Hall, Church Fine Arts Building

Terell Stafford, an acclaimed trumpet player based in New York, has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player; he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well-defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.

Since the mid-1990s, Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet, and Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band. Stafford, with the Hamilton- Clayton Jazz Orchestra, performed on Diana Krall’s GRAMMY-nominated From This Moment On (2006). John Clayton invited Stafford to perform with the Clayton Brothers Quintet and Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Stafford is a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, which was awarded a GRAMMY in 2009 for Best Large Ensemble, Live at the Village Vanguard. Stafford can be heard on over 130 albums including his own, BrotherLee Love, Celebrating Lee Morgan, which received a 47th Annual NAACP Image Award nomination. His most recent album, Family Feeling, is a BCM&D release.

Stafford is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, founder and band leader of the Terell Stafford Quintet, and managing and artistic director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP). Stafford is renowned in the jazz world as an educator, performer and leader and has received countless award nominations and accolades.

Joining him is the University’s own jazz faculty ensemble, the Manzanita Quintet.

Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Nightingale Concert Hall, GEORGE, as Festival Headliner

With the moniker derived from the Greek word georgos meaning “farmer" and "earthworker,” John Hollenbeck formed GEORGE during the COVID pandemic. As heard on their 2023 debut recording, "Letters to George," the members work in tandem to excavate and create intense and intriguing music, the sound of which defies categories and labels. Hollenbeck — an award-winning, genre-crossing composer and percussionist — is joined by his equally esteemed bandmates Anna Webber (sax/flute), Sarah Rossy (keyboards/voice) and Chiquita Magic (keyboards/voice).

“The group combines strategies from experimental jazz, ambient electronics, chamber music and more — with myriad elements converging on ‘Earthworker’. Elsewhere on Letters to George, the group moves into different sonic dimensions, even venturing a spooked-out cover of Sonny Bono’s ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),’ best known for hit versions by Cher and Nancy Sinatra. The album’s gratis track on Bandcamp is a nightmare vision titled ‘Can You Imagine This?’ — opening with a scream and thrashing forward in a coordinated blur.” – Nate Chinen, WRTI 90.1

The Reno Jazz Festival wraps up with a Festival Showcase on Saturday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. at Nightingale Concert Hall

The Saturday Night Festival Showcase finale features a curated selection of student performances that showcase creativity, innovation, fresh perspectives and exceptional sound. The closing showcase provides a compelling cross-section of performances, celebrating the future of jazz, with the show starting off with a performance by the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Trio.

Tickets and Passes

Day events and evening concerts are purchased separately. You need a Festival pass for day events and a concert ticket for evening concerts.

Visit the University Tickets webpage for tickets and further information.

Tickets are for the following evening performances:

Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. Terell Stafford + Manzanita Quintet.

Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. GEORGE.

Saturday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. Festival Showcase.

Concert tickets are available for purchase to all festival goers and the public. For more information on the Reno Jazz Festival visit the event website.

Latest From

Nevada Today