Weekend of Jazz History
The first annual Weekend of Jazz festival was held in March 2001. The festival was the dream of Douglas McCullough, Director of Bands at Beavercreek High School. Doug made a commitment to the city's Board of Education and the citizens of Beavercreek to use the new BHS Alumni Auditorium to benefit the entire community. Hence, this annual event held the first weekend of each March, is entering its nineteenth year and is getting stronger each year. In 2006 the Mayor of Beavercreek proclaimed the first weekend of each March to be Beavercreek Jazz Weekend.
The Weekend of Jazz promotes music education for middle school, and junior and senior high school students from all over Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Jazz bands and combos from schools in this region come together in Beavercreek, Ohio to perform in exhibition. A panel of professional jazz musicians and music educators critique each concert and the student bands have the opportunity to attend clinics for one-on-one advice and feedback from one of the panel members. While there is a certain element of informal competition among the student bands, the emphasis is always on music instruction and learning. The format of the festival is regularly praised by participating band directors. Information on how to join the great line-up of jazz bands at our next festival is found in the Director's Guide at www.weekendofjazz.org/directors.
Enjoyment of the WOJ festival extends far beyond the student bands and their families and friends. Friday and Saturday nights of each festival are dedicated to performances by top-name professional jazz groups. Great bands like the Gordon Goodwin's Big PHAT Band, Buddy Rich Big Band, the Jon Faddis Quartet, Royal Crown Revue, Maynard Ferguson, Stanley Clarke, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Tito Puente Jr. and his Orchestra, Blood Sweat and Tears, Jon Secada, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra have performed at the festival over the years.
Every year we get positive comments from our guest performers about the large number of teenagers in the audience and the high level of excitement they demonstrate for jazz music. Frank Tiberi, leader of The Woody Herman Orchestra, was pleased to see "…young people excited about our music." The front rows of the auditorium are always packed with high school kids, and scattered all over the auditorium are family groups spanning several generations all enjoying wonderful music.
Previous professional performing artists:
2001 Rob Parton's JAZZTECH Big Band | Count Basie Orchestra
2002 Sherrie Maricle and Diva | Jon Faddis Quartet
2003 Jeff Hamilton Trio | The Woody Herman Orchestra
2004 Doc Gibbs and Picante | Royal Crown Revue
2005 John Fedchock NY Sextet | Spyro Gyra
2006 Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders | Maynard Ferguson and his Big Bop Nouveau Band
2007 The Stanley Clarke Band | Rob Parton's JAZZTECH Big Band
2008 Jeff Coffin Mu'Tet | O'2L (cancelled due to blizzard)
2009 Sylvan Street | The Woody Herman Orchestra
2010 Five Play | Tito Puente Jr and his Orchestra
2011 Jon Secada | The Duke Ellington Orchestra
2012 Sylvan Street | Buddy Rich Big Band
2013 Jeff Coffin and the Mu'Tet | Ramsey Lewis
2014 Count Basie Orchestra | Spyro Gyra
2015 Blood Sweat & Tears | The Cab Calloway Orchestra
2016 Gordon Goodwin's Big PHAT Band | Gordon Goodwin's Big PHAT Band
2017 Ellis Marsalis Quintet | Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Orchestra
2018 Victor Wooten Band | Dave Liebman Big Band
2019 Special EFX All Stars | Eastman New Jazz Ensemble
2020 Huntertones | Yellowjackets
2022 Naughty Professor
2023 Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra