Originating in 1983, the Brandon Jazz Festival is an annual non-competitive event held in March of every year on the campus of Brandon University.
It is an educational forum where young musicians come to perform for adjudicators and receive written, taped and verbal feedback on their playing and singing. Our adjudicators are top of the line professional musicians as well as educators from across Canada and the United States.
Participants in the festival include both school based (junior high, high school and university age) as well as community organized groups from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, and the United States. They are usually large jazz ensembles, small combos, or vocal jazz groups.
Throughout the three days of the festival, there are many discussion sessions with featured guest speakers, clinics, workshops with adjudicators, and special evening concerts with featured guest artists.
Our festival is decidedly non-competitive – emphasizing music education and more specifically, jazz education. Unlike other competitive festivals, there are no marks given (that is, no first, second, or third places awarded).
The festival is operated by volunteer workers from the Brandon School Division, Brandon University, and community. It totally relies on the funding from registrations, concert attendance, community donations, and government grants.
The Brandon Jazz Festival has become a tremendous economic boost for the City of Brandon. With over 3000 participants coming in from out of town for the three days, just about every hotel room is taken, restaurants filled to capacity, and stores bustling with activity as students convince their directors for some shopping time.
Anyone wishing to donate financially to our Festival can do so by contacting the current Director, Brent Campbell, at info:@:brandonjazzfestival.com. We rely on donations to help us meet our budget and all donations as tax-deductible as the Brandon Jazz Festival is a registered non-profit charitable organization.
We are proud that our international and nationally-acclaimed adjudicators, performers, and clinicians have repeatedly state the fact that the Brandon Jazz Festival is one of the best organized, well run events of its kind in Canada that emphasizes a strong educational format and an inspiring performance outlet.
Brent Campbell – Executive Director
Roger Mantie – BJF Board Chair