MTSU’s Top Student Jazz Band Set to Join Downtown JazzFest May 7

MURFRESBORO, TN – A group of MTSU’s top student musicians will once again add their talents to the annual Murfreesboro JazzFest, highlighting the 25th annual downtown music celebration with a presentation on Saturday, May 7.

The MTSU Jazz Ensemble I will perform at 1:30 p.m. May 7 on the stage near the historic Rutherford County Courthouse as part of the free daylong event in the town square, sponsored by Main Street Murfreesboro.

MTSU’s Jazz Ensemble I is the most successful student group in the School of Music’s Jazz Studies program. Experienced student musicians focus on cutting edge works and big band repertoire, as well as new compositions and their own arrangements.

The band recently wrapped up the university’s annual Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival with a performance on April 2 with acclaimed trumpeter and jazz educator Brian Lynch, a five-time Grammy nominee and two-time winner. This performance is available on video at

The ensemble’s appearance at JazzFest may also give them the opportunity to reconnect with some of the same local high school musicians who participated in the day-long Jacquet Jazz Festival, where young musicians learn to focus individually on jazz. and the art of jazz improvisation.

Local high school and college bands are on the schedule at Murfreesboro JazzFest on Friday, May 6 and May 7, respectively.

This year’s MTSU Jazz Ensemble I performance may include excerpts from Jazz Ensemble I’s 2021 CD, “The Middle Way”, which features jazz styles ranging from blues to big band to contemporary jazz with instrumental and vocal performances.

One of 10 tracks from “The Middle Way,” recorded in 2019 and 2020 through a partnership with the MTSU Jazz Program and the Department of Recording Industry, is available at

For more information about MTSU Jazz Ensemble I and the MTSU Jazz Studies program, contact Program Director and School of Music teacher Jamey Simmons at 615-898-2724 or [email protected] .

The downtown Murfreesboro JazzFest will also include games, an interactive “kids lane,” food trucks and a free interactive jazz workshop for music lovers at 2 p.m. on May 7. The full JazzFest schedule is available at

For details on MTSU School of Music performances and events, call 615-898-2493 or visit and click on the “Concert Schedule” link.

David H. Henry