Welcome: Reno Jazz Festival - University of Nevada, Reno

2018 Winners
Schedule Overview


Greetings and welcome to the 56th annual Reno Jazz Festival.

The 2018 Reno Jazz Festival promises to once again bring together some of the finest jazz students, educators, and professional musicians in the United States. Since its first year in 1962 (featuring five school groups), the festival has grown considerably in size and stature, becoming one of the largest and finest events of its kind in the world. With more than 350 school groups, 9,000 participants, 50 clinicians, performers, and adjudicators participating annually, we strive to ensure that every guest participant leaves with greater knowledge, understanding, appreciation and love of music.


NEW THIS YEAR... Peter Epstein (photo left), jazz saxophonist / musician extraordinaire and Chair of the Department of Music, has agreed to serve as our new Director of the Reno Jazz Festival. Not only is Peter an amazing performer, wonderful teacher and role model for our students, but also a kind and caring person of extraordinary integrity. His service in many leadership capacities over the years, including a long stint as Director of Jazz Studies from 2004-2016, prepares him well for this new role.

Adam Benjamin (photo right), our current Director of Jazz Studies, will assist Epstein as Associate Director of the festival. Adam, a world-renowned jazz pianist and keyboard player with the group Kneebody, has volunteered in various capacities during previous jazz festivals (you may have noticed him announcing at recent festival concerts) and is eager to take on this expanded role. We are thrilled that the Reno Jazz Festival is in such good hands and have no doubt that it will continue to grow and prosper.

The Reno Jazz Festival is a massive undertaking, and it would not be possible to produce without help from all of our co-sponsors and volunteers. Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, Nevada Arts Council, City of Reno, our Host Hotel Circus Circus Reno, CLM Design, Steinway Gallery, Absolute Music, Greenbrae Trophy, and to our own University of Nevada for its unfailing support over the past three decades, especially from the School of the Arts and College of Liberal Arts.

Thanks must also be given to tireless music educators everywhere! We are fortunate in that we get to see some of the very best as participants in our festival. I come from a family of music educators (father, mother, brother, wife, daughter, aunt and more), so I know what the job entails, the effort and commitment required to achieve excellence, and how many long days and nights come with it. That so many of you have chosen to go above and beyond the call of duty each and every year to fundraise and organize a trip to the Reno Jazz Festival is remarkable. We cannot thank you enough for your loyalty to us and for your commitment to music education in general.

I look forward to seeing you at the 2018 festival!

Larry Engstrom
Reno Jazz Festival, Director Emeritus

Professor, University of Nevada Music Department

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