Big Band Jam 2017


Welcome to the 2017 BIG BAND JAM!

Composer arranger Alan Baylock conducts the Blues Alley Big Band


Founders Harry Schnipper and Madeline Diehl with Ernie Watts

KC Jazz

The 13th Annual BIG BAND JAM! will honor the “First Lady of Song” Ella Fitzgerald as well as bandleader and co-leader William “Count” Basie. This year we will launch the 1st annual Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition between April 28th-30th in honor of its namesake’s 100th birthday. The competition will be in partnership with George Washington University and our theme will be the seminal 1963 recording “Ella and Basie”.

The 13th Annual BIG BAND JAM! will continue to attract high schools, colleges, military ensembles, and professional orchestras, and to host panels, workshops and programs, but shall also include a choir celebrating the life of Ella Fitzgerald in song on the National Mall. The choir will represent our 2017 collegiate partnership with Bowie State University in performance and coincide with UNESCO’s 6th annual “International Jazz Day” on Sunday, April 30th.

Annually we distribute tribute charts of our featured composer-arranger to all participating schools in anticipation of our non-competitive adjudication. This year we will post charts online, ask directors to log in to our website and download the charts directly. The charts will feature two selections from the recording “Ella and Basie”, arranged by either Quincy Jones or Nelson Riddle, and will be suitable for big band performance. Please do not hesitate and register today!