Registration is Open!

It is with great pleasure that we share with you that registration for the 2021 National Jazz Festival is now officially open!  We would be thrilled if you and your students were able to participate in this year’s festival which will be entirely virtual! Don’t worry, we will be back hosting an in-person National Jazz Festival in 2022. In fact we are able to share with you that the 2022 in-person NJF will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 12, 2022.
However until then, we have restructured this year’s 2021 National Jazz Festival in hopes to help provide you and your students a meaningful experience during this pandemic which has altered all ways of life and music education.  Some of you are struggling to keep your students working virtually and in-person (if you can play in-person), while others are struggling to keep your programs alive.  We realize that a competition may not be the first thing on your mind right now, however we are hoping that we have structured this year’s festival in a way that you may be able to “perform” and keep your students striving for their as you work towards your final submissions for the NJF!
Here’s the deal!

  • Each ensemble category with have 2 separate divisions,  A “Live Performance” division and a “Virtual Performance” Division.  These divisions and rules will be explained later in this email.  You do not need to commit to which division you will be choosing during initial registration, however you may if you wish.  You must choose before April 1st.
  • Registration is open now until April 1st.
  • We have lowered the registration fee for this year as we do not have the nearly the expenses we have hosting an in-person event.  Ensemble fees are $100 each and individual fees are $50 each.
  • We have added individual solo categories for all standard big band instruments.  This was done to help those students that may want an added challenge during remote learning/playing.
  • All recordings/videos (Ensemble & Individual) must be received electronically before May 1st.  We chose a date later in the year to give everyone time to make the best recording they can.
  • All adjudication will happen between May 1st and May 20th.
  • The 2021 NJF will air via YouTube on Saturday, May 22nd.  The program will be similar to the our in-person festival.  Each performance will have a scheduled time and link in the program.
  • The awards ceremony will also be shown via YouTube.

Below are some general notes about the divisions for the 2021 NJF:

All “Large Ensemble”, “Small Ensemble”, “Vocal Jazz”, and “Pop-Cappella” groups will be divided into 2 performance/competitive divisions depending on how they are recording their performances.  Ensembles may choose to either record their performances “live” as an ensemble in either their band room, stage, auditorium, or other space.  Groups may also choose to participate in “virtual” divisions  

“Live Divisions” – Ensembles choosing to participate in these categories must submit video/audio recordings that are recorded as 1 live take without editing the video or audio in any way.  The video must be shot from one stationary camera that is continuously recording your performance.   You may use any audio recording techniques that make your live performance sound the best it can on the video, however audio must not be edited and intonation plugins (such as auto-tune) are forbidden.  All directors are responsible for following the NJF Code Of Conduct in the production of these videos.  Similar to the in-person festival, all ensembles entering a “Live Division” must adhere to the 20 minute time limit from first not to final cut-off.  All introductions of selections should happen prior to the musical performance so that it does not impact your performance time. 

“Virtual Divisions” – Ensembles choosing to participate in these categories may compile their audio and video and edit it to compose their final product.  The video quality will not be adjudicated, however the audio will.  You may edit the audio in this process, however you may not use intonation plugins (such as auto-tune) to enhance your audio.  Effects and compression are acceptable.  All directors are responsible for following the NJF Code Of Conduct in the production of these videos.  Similar to the in-person festival, all ensembles entering a “Virtual Divisions” must adhere to the 20 minute time limit from first not to final cut-off.  All introductions of selections should happen prior to the musical performance so that it does not impact your performance time. 
We are excited to be able to make this year’s festival a reality and will be sending you more frequent updates and reminders as we get closer to important dates!
As our festival is virtual for 2021, please feel free to share with your director friends around the country as any school is eligible to participate!  Without the expense and permission needed for traveling, this is a great way for students from the all around the country to come together!
As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns!

National Jazz Festival Team

National Jazz Festival

Celebrating jazz education throughout our entire nation and beyond!

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