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 is now running well beyond 20 years and is getting stronger each year. 

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. Saturday night of each festival is dedicated to a performance 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

2024 Jeff Coffin, Bob Lanzetti, Felix Pastorius, Jordan Perlson