Grammy Award nominee, Jazzmeia Horn will perform at one of many events during the 33rd Annual Jazz Festival. Photo provided by NCCU.

NCCU’s 33rd Annual Jazz Festival to feature Jazzmeia Horn

April 19, 2024

If there’s anything N. C. Central University’s Jazz Department wants you to learn from the upcoming seven days of its 33rd Annual Jazz Festival, it’s that jazz is central to the African American experience.

The festival opened with a two-day Monterrey Jazz Festival on April 18-19. Events pick up again April 22.

“Jazz gives off a mellow vibe,” Kendell Edwards, a trombone player said. “I wish more students were invested in this style of music.”

Jacob Boston, a trumpet player, said that jazz is unique.

“Jazz uniquely corresponds to other genres of music like gospel, R&B and funk,” Boston said. “In jazz, I have freer space to mix the different styles together.”

NCCU’s Jazz Ensembles gives students the opportunity to practice advanced forms of music and literature. Each year, NCCU students get the chance to audition and perform with the group.

Through the last few weeks, in partnership with musical guests, students from the NCCU Jazz Ensemble were preparing for their 33rd annual Spring Jazz Concert. During this weeklong event students will sing, perform, and play.

Next Monday, on April 22, the Vocal Jazz Combo and the Jazz Ensemble 2 will perform. The Vocal Jazz Combo is directed by Maurice Myers and the Ensemble 2 is directed by Adjunct Keenan McKenzie.

On Tuesday, April 23, NCCU Low Brass Lecturer and Director of Jazz, Robert Trowers, will lead the Combo 1 into performance. Combo 2 will be directed by Lecturer Damon Brown.

The night’s events will end when Combo 3, directed by Percussion Lecturer, Thomas Taylor, performs.

A highlight of the festival will be the appearance of Dallas-born Jazz Vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, a multi-Grammy Award nominee. On Thursday, April 25, Horn will host a master class at 1 p.m.

Later that night, Horn will perform with the Jazz Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. in the Hayti Heritage Center.

The festival’s final event will be Friday, April 26, when NCCU’s Jazz Ensemble will be joined by the Vocal Jazz Ensemble to perform. Trowers and Lenora Helms-Hammonds, the Jazz Department Chair, will direct the students.

More information can be found at NCCU’s website.

Come enjoy great music and support NCCU’s Jazz ensemble. You don’t want to miss it.

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Grammy Award nominee, Jazzmeia Horn will perform at one of many events during the 33rd Annual Jazz Festival. Photo provided by NCCU.
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Grammy Award nominee, Jazzmeia Horn will perform at one of many events during the 33rd Annual Jazz Festival. Photo provided by NCCU.
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