OFFICIAL RULES

General Rules

OFFICIAL RULES PDF FORMAT CLICK BELOW
NJF OFFICIAL RULES
  1. All students participating in an ensemble must be from the same school. All-star ensembles from the same district or ensembles comprised of students from more than 1 school in a district will be allowed to perform in the “non-competitive” category.
  2. All ensembles and individuals must be registered by a school director or school official to ensure that the students are in “good standing” with their school and also to ensure that the school is aware of the students’ participation. This includes the “Pop-Capella”, Jazz Vocal Solo, Solo Jazz Piano, and Jazz Composition Categories.
  3. Schools may have more than 1 ensemble in a category, however they will not compete in the same division. For example, if a school enters 2 Instrumental Large Ensembles, the school’s “top ensemble” will be placed in the correct division based on the school’s student population.  The school’s second large ensemble would be placed in the next division lower.  If there is not a competitive division lower, the second large ensemble would be placed in the non-competitive division.
  4. If a school has more than 1 ensemble in a performance category, each ensemble must be comprised entirely by other (different) students. The only exception would be in instrumental ensembles where the student is playing an entirely different instrument in each ensemble.  There are no exceptions in the vocal categories.
  5. All self-reporting of school information, ensemble information, and individual information must be truthful. Ensembles or individuals reporting inaccurate or false information in order to gain a competitive advantage will be disqualified and not allowed to participate in future National Jazz Festivals.
  6. All rules and regulations of each ensemble and individual category must be followed.

High School
Large Ensemble

1.     Each ensemble must have a minimum of 12 student musicians.

2.     Music selections, quantity of selections, and styles are all at the discretion of the directors, however there should be a clear jazz influence.  It is not mandatory, however varied styles/selections are suggested.  Our adjudicators want to see what you do well and how much you can do well!  The only limitation is the 20 minutes of performance time allotted for each group.

3.     Ensembles in competitive divisions will be placed in divisions by school enrollment.

4.     Schools may enter more than one ensemble in this category.  The school’s “top” or “highest level” performing group will be placed in the appropriate division by school population.  Each additional ensemble from the school will be placed in the next lower

competitive division.  If there is not a lower competitive division, the additional ensemble may perform in the non-competitive division.

5.     Each ensemble will have exactly 25 minutes to set-up and warm-up.  At the end of the 25-minute warm-up session, the ensemble will be introduced to the audience and adjudicators to begin their performance.

6.     Each ensemble will have exactly 20 minutes of performance time.  Each ensemble will be timed from the first note of their first performance selection until the final cut-off of their final performance selection.  Ensembles may not “restart” their performance for any reason.  Once the clock starts it will continue to run.  The 20 minutes of performance time is finite.  Any ensemble exceeding the 20-minute performance time will be automatically disqualified.  A timing of 19:59 or 20:00 is acceptable, however a time of 20:01 is not.

7.     Following your ensemble’s verbal critique, you will have exactly 5 minutes to remove all your belongings from the performance area.  Taking longer than 5 minutes may lead to disqualification.

High School
Small Ensemble

  1. Each ensemble must have a minimum of 3 student musicians and a maximum of 10.
  2. Music selections, quantity of selections, and styles are all at the discretion of the directors, however, there should be a clear jazz influence. It is not mandatory, however varied styles/selections are suggested.  Our adjudicators want to see what you do well and how much you can do well!  The only limitation is the 20 minutes of performance time allotted for each group.
  3. Ensembles in competitive divisions will be placed in divisions by school enrollment.
  4. Schools may enter more than one ensemble in this category. The school’s “top” or “highest level” performing group will be placed in the appropriate division by school population.  Each additional ensemble from the school will be placed in the next lower competitive division.  If there is not a lower competitive division, the additional ensemble may perform in the non-competitive division.
  5. Each ensemble will have exactly 25 minutes to set-up and warm-up. At the end of the 25-minute warm-up session, the ensemble will be introduced to the audience and adjudicators to begin their performance.
  6. Each ensemble will have exactly 20 minutes of performance time. Each ensemble will be timed from the first note of their first performance selection until the final cut-off of their final performance selection.  Ensembles may not “restart” their performance for any reason.  Once the clock starts it will continue to run.  The 20 minutes of performance time is finite.  Any ensemble exceeding the 20-minute performance time will be automatically disqualified.  A timing of 19:59 or 20:00 is acceptable, however a time of 20:01 is not.
  7. Following your ensemble’s verbal critique, you will have exactly 5 minutes to remove all your belongings from the performance area. Taking longer than 5 minutes may lead to disqualification.

Vocal Jazz
Large Group

  1. Each ensemble must have a minimum of 12 student vocalists.
  2. Ensembles in the Vocal Jazz – Large Group category may use a student rhythm section (combo) or 1 adult professional on piano only. Directors may not sing along with their ensembles, however, are able to direct their ensembles in the appropriate manner.
  3. Music selections, quantity of selections, and styles are all at the discretion of the directors, however there should be a clear jazz influence. It is not mandatory, however varied styles/selections are suggested.  Our adjudicators want to see what you do well and how much you can do well!  The only limitation is the 20 minutes of performance time allotted for each group.
  4. Ensembles in competitive divisions will be placed in divisions by school enrollment.
  5. Schools may enter more than one ensemble in this category. The school’s “top” or “highest level” performing group will be placed in the appropriate division by school population.  Each additional ensemble from the school will be placed in the next lower competitive division.  If there is not a lower competitive division, the additional ensemble may perform in the non-competitive division.
  6. Each ensemble will have exactly 25 minutes to set-up and warm-up. At the end of the 25-minute warm-up session, the ensemble will be introduced to the audience and adjudicators to begin their performance.
  7. Each ensemble will have exactly 20 minutes of performance time. Each ensemble will be timed from the first note of their first performance selection until the final cut-off of their final performance selection.  Ensembles may not “restart” their performance for any reason.  Once the clock starts it will continue to run.  The 20 minutes of performance time is finite.  Any ensemble exceeding the 20-minute performance time will be automatically disqualified.  A timing of 19:59 or 20:00 is acceptable, however a time of 20:01 is not.
  8. Following your ensemble’s verbal critique, you will have exactly 5 minutes to remove all your belongings from the performance area. Taking longer than 5 minutes may lead to disqualification.

Vocal Jazz
Small Group

  1. Each ensemble must have a minimum of 4 student vocalists and a maximum of 12.
  2. Ensembles in the Vocal Jazz – Small Group category may use a student rhythm section (combo) or 1 adult professional on Piano only. Directors may not sing along with their ensembles, however, are able to direct their ensembles in the appropriate manner.
  3. Music selections, quantity of selections, and styles are all at the discretion of the directors, however, there should be a clear jazz influence. It is not mandatory, however varied styles/selections are suggested.  Our adjudicators want to see what you do well and how much you can do well!  The only limitation is the 20 minutes of performance time allotted for each group.
  4. Ensembles in competitive divisions will be placed in divisions by school enrollment.
  5. Schools may enter more than one ensemble in this category. The school’s “top” or “highest level” performing group will be placed in the appropriate division by school population.  Each additional ensemble from the school will be placed in the next lower competitive division.  If there is not a lower competitive division, the additional ensemble may perform in the non-competitive division.
  6. Each ensemble will have exactly 25 minutes to set-up and warm-up. At the end of the 25-minute warm-up session, the ensemble will be introduced to the audience and adjudicators to begin their performance.
  7. Each ensemble will have exactly 20 minutes of performance time. Each ensemble will be timed from the first note of their first performance selection until the final cut-off of their final performance selection.  Ensembles may not “restart” their performance for any reason.  Once the clock starts it will continue to run.  The 20 minutes of performance time is finite.  Any ensemble exceeding the 20-minute performance time will be automatically disqualified.  A timing of 19:59 or 20:00 is acceptable, however a time of 20:01 is not.
  8. Following your ensemble’s verbal critique, you will have exactly 5 minutes to remove all your belongings from the performance area. Taking longer than 5 minutes may lead to disqualification.

Vocal Jazz
A Cappella

  1. Each ensemble must have a minimum of 4 student vocalists.
  2. Ensembles in the Vocal Jazz – A Cappella category may not use any accompaniment whatsoever. Directors may use a pitch pipe or piano to establish pitches prior to each performance selection.  Directors may not sing along with their ensembles, however, are able to direct their ensembles in the appropriate manner.
  3. Music selections, quantity of selections, and styles are all at the discretion of the directors, however there should be a clear jazz influence. It is not mandatory, however varied styles/selections are suggested.  Our adjudicators want to see what you do well and how much you can do well!  The only limitation is the 20 minutes of performance time allotted for each group.
  4. Ensembles in competitive divisions will be placed in divisions by school enrollment.
  5. Schools may enter more than one ensemble in this category. The school’s “top” or “highest level” performing group will be placed in the appropriate division by school population.  Each additional ensemble from the school will be placed in the next lower competitive division.  If there is not a lower competitive division, the additional ensemble may perform in the non-competitive division.
  6. Each ensemble will have exactly 25 minutes to set-up and warm-up. At the end of the 25-minute warm-up session, the ensemble will be introduced to the audience and adjudicators to begin their performance.
  7. Each ensemble will have exactly 20 minutes of performance time. Each ensemble will be timed from the first note of their first performance selection until the final cut-off of their final performance selection.  Ensembles may not “restart” their performance for any reason.  Once the clock starts it will continue to run.  The 20 minutes of performance time is finite.  Any ensemble exceeding the 20-minute performance time will be automatically disqualified.  A timing of 19:59 or 20:00 is acceptable, however a time of 20:01 is not.
  8. Following your ensemble’s verbal critique, you will have exactly 5 minutes to remove all your belongings from the performance area. Taking longer than 5 minutes may lead to disqualification.

POP-CAPPELLA

  1. Each ensemble must have a minimum of 4 student vocalists.
  2. Ensembles in the “Pop-Cappella” category may not use any accompaniment whatsoever. Directors may use a pitch pipe or piano to establish pitches prior to each performance selection.  Directors may not sing along with their ensembles, however, are able to direct their ensembles in the appropriate manner.
  3. Music selections, quantity of selections, and styles are all at the discretion of the directors, however, there should be a clear pop influence. It is not mandatory, however varied styles/selections are suggested.  Our adjudicators want to see what you do well and how much you can do well!  The only limitation is the 20 minutes of performance time allotted for each group.
  4. Ensembles in competitive divisions will be placed in divisions by school enrollment.
  5. Schools may enter more than one ensemble in this category. The school’s “top” or “highest level” performing group will be placed in the appropriate division by school population.  Each additional ensemble from the school will be placed in the next lower competitive division.  If there is not a lower competitive division, the additional ensemble may perform in the non-competitive division.
  6. Each ensemble will have exactly 25 minutes to set-up and warm-up. At the end of the 25-minute warm-up session, the ensemble will be introduced to the audience and adjudicators to begin their performance.
  7. Each ensemble will have exactly 20 minutes of performance time. Each ensemble will be timed from the first note of their first performance selection until the final cut-off of their final performance selection.  Ensembles may not “restart” their performance for any reason.  Once the clock starts it will continue to run.  The 20 minutes of performance time is finite.  Any ensemble exceeding the 20-minute performance time will be automatically disqualified.  A timing of 19:59 or 20:00 is acceptable, however a time of 20:01 is not.
  8. Following your ensemble’s verbal critique, you will have exactly 5 minutes to remove all your belongings from the performance area. Taking longer than 5 minutes may lead to disqualification.

JAZZ
COMPOSITION

  1. Students entering the Jazz Composition Category must be registered by their school director or other school official.
  2. Students will submit their scores in a PDF format and midi or audio recordings in the registration process prior to the January 1st
  3. Students winning or placing will be notified via email by January 15th.

JAZZ
VOCAL SOLO

  1. Students entering the Jazz Vocal Solo Category must be registered by their school director or other school official.
  2. Students will submit their vocal video recordings consisting of 2 vocal selections of varying styles by November 30th. Each selection should not exceed 5 minutes in length.
  3. The top 10 vocalists chosen by the committee will be invited to attend the National Jazz Festival and compete in a live performance setting.
  4. The top 10 students and alternates will be informed of their selection status by December 7th.
  5. Rules and performance selection information will be emailed to the students selected to perform at the National Jazz Festival.

SOLO
JAZZ PIANO

  1. Students entering the Solo Jazz Piano Category must be registered by their school director or other school official.
  2. Students will submit their piano video recordings consisting of 2 selections of varying styles by November 30th. Each selection should not exceed 5 minutes in length.
  3. The top 10 pianists chosen by the committee will be invited to attend the National Jazz Festival and compete in a live performance setting.
  4. The top 10 students and alternates will be informed of their selection status by December 7th.
  5. Rules and performance selection information will be emailed to the students selected to perform at the National Jazz Festival.

MIDDLE SCHOOL
LARGE ENSEMBLE

  1. Middle School Large Ensembles may apply by submitting a their registration and performance videos. The designated top 10 Middle School Large Ensembles will be invited to perform live and compete at the National Jazz Festival.  Selected ensembles will be notified by December 6th.  Selected Middle School Ensembles must follow all the performance rules below.
  2. Each ensemble must have a minimum of 12 student musicians.
  3. Music selections, quantity of selections, and styles are all at the discretion of the directors, however there should be a clear jazz influence. It is not mandatory, however varied styles/selections are suggested.  Our adjudicators want to see what you do well and how much you can do well!  The only limitation is the 20 minutes of performance time allotted for each group.
  4. Ensembles in competitive divisions will be placed in divisions by school enrollment.
  5. Schools may enter more than one ensemble in this category. The school’s “top” or “highest level” performing group will be placed in the appropriate division by school population.  Each additional ensemble from the school will be placed in the next lowercompetitive division.  If there is not a lower competitive division, the additional ensemble may perform in the non-competitive division.
  1. Each ensemble will have exactly 25 minutes to set-up and warm-up. At the end of the 25-minute warm-up session, the ensemble will be introduced to the audience and adjudicators to begin their performance.
  2. Each ensemble will have exactly 20 minutes of performance time. Each ensemble will be timed from the first note of their first performance selection until the final cut-off of their final performance selection.  Ensembles may not “restart” their performance for any reason.  Once the clock starts it will continue to run.  The 20 minutes of performance time is finite.  Any ensemble exceeding the 20-minute performance time will be automatically disqualified.  A timing of 19:59 or 20:00 is acceptable, however a time of 20:01 is not.
  3. Following your ensemble’s verbal critique, you will have exactly 5 minutes to remove all your belongings from the performance area. Taking longer than 5 minutes may lead to disqualification.