Photo of the MSUB Jazz Band


January 27, 2017


The Montana State University Billings Jazz Ensembles are focused on authentically learning multiple styles of Jazz and Commercial music in order for the student to approach future playing and teaching situations with confidence and knowledge. Our ensembles sincerely enjoy sharing the love of music and broadening our own minds as well as those in the community, to become more artistically and culturally aware.


All college, high school and junior high jazz ensembles in the state are cordially invited to the MSU Billings Jazz Festival, which will take place on January 27, 2017 at MSU Billings. All sizes of ensembles are invited to attend, including big bands, combos and any other size or instrumentation of Jazz Ensemble. Vocalists welcome in combos and big bands. In addition to adjudication, highly experienced clinicians will also provide improvisation, instrumental and music production clinics.  This festival is non-competitive and focused on education and nurturing the love of the music.  Top Soloists of the festival will be awarded at the evening concert.


Our guest artist is Katisse Buckingham, ( a versatile and groundbreaking sax and jazz flutist, one of the leading faces of contemporary jazz on the west coast.  Based in Los Angeles, Katisse leads his own contemporary ensemble as well as playing in Billy Childs’ jazz quartet, the Zawinul Legacy project and John DaVersa’s large ensemble.  He spends much time in the recording studios, featured in movies like the Minions, All is Lost, Anchorman – Legend of Ron Burgundy, and more.   Here is a clip of his flute solo with Billy Childs’ quartet at the Baked Potato in LA.  


MSU Billings’ past jazz festivals have been very successful with guest artists such as Wayne Bergeron, Maynard Ferguson, Bill Watrous, Doc Cheatum, George Shearing, Bobby Shew, Nick Mancini and Denis DiBlasio. Please join us in making this another educational tradition and musical mainstay in Montana.


For more information please contact John Roberts.




Wayne Bergeron performing with student musicians at the 2016 MSUB Jazz Festival




Katisse with flute
2017 Jazz Festival guest artist, Katisse Buckingham