Witness the future stars of jazz at Student Competition

Student Jazz Competition winner Jackson Willis performs at a Jazz Pensacola Jazz Gumbo event at Seville Quarter. Since winning the competition, Willis has gone on to become one of the most requested jazz trombonists in the area.

Student jazz musicians from around the area are gathering for Jazz Pensacola’s annual Student Jazz Competition, the live finals of which will be 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at the Ashmore Fine Arts Auditorium, Pensacola State College, 1000 College Blvd.

The event is free and open to the public. Come and get an early glimpse at the jazz stars of tomorrow.

Previous competition winner Jackson Willis, for example, has gone on to become one of the most called-upon jazz trombonists in the Gulf Coast area, playing in a wide variety of different settings and ensembles.

“I received my bachelor’s in trombone performance from UWF in 2015 and am currently weighing my options for continued education,” Jackson says. “Speaking of education, I have a studio of 10-15 different private trombone students ranging from beginners to experienced players. I’m committed to being the best player that I can be as well as passing down my knowledge to the upcoming generation.”

“We’re really proud that we’ve been able to put a spotlight on some of these talented, young musicians,” says Fred Domulot, Jazz Pensacola president. “Already we’ve seen them perform at professional gigs around town and at our own Jazz Pensacola events.”

Isabelle Peterson, a Student Competition winner, performs at JazzFest.

Competition winner Isabelle Peterson currently is studying voice at UWF and teaches beginner guitar and ukulele. “I’m on music staff at St. Paul Catholic for guitar and voice,” she says. “I recently was featured at one of Gino Rosaria’s Tuesday Jazz Nights at Seville and did a set of jazz standards, soul, and blues.”

Another winner, Clinton Hall, says he’s currently performing regularly, teaching private music lessons, and recording an original LP. “I’m also researching online degree programs to continue my collegiate education,” he says.

Divisions are: College Instrumental, High School Instrumental and Jazz Vocal, with competitors attending school (including homeschooling) in the greater Pensacola area — Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties and Baldwin County in Alabama. 

Ranging from $100 to $500, awards for first, second and third place in each division are earmarked for music education expenses.

The Student Jazz Competition is made possible by Jazz Pensacola’s JETSJazz Education Team Supporters — folks who have made a tax-deductible donation of $100 or more to help make Jazz Pensacola’s jazz education programs possible.

Since the launch of Jazz Pensacola’s student musician outreach, more than $16,000 in monetary support awards earned by the winners of the competitions went toward jazz camps, school tuition, purchase and repair of musical instruments, and lessons, helping these young musicians continue their development.

For 2018, Jazz Pensacola has set a goal of at least $5,000 in funding. Members of JETS are recognized with special thanks on jazzpensacola.com and in the program for the 2018 Student Jazz Competition.

JETS and/or general fund donations can be made online at jazzpensacola.com. Payment by check can be made at Jazz Pensacola offices (make the check payable to Jazz Pensacola) at 3 West Garden St., Suite 418. Payment by credit card can be made by phoning the office at (850) 433-8382 during office hours, 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Donations to Jazz Pensacola are considered tax-deductible contributions. Any amount will be greatly appreciated.

For more information, click here.

Clinton Hall performs at the Student Jazz Competition.

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