MSU Billings Jazz Festival

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 26, 2018 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.  Adjudication fees are $150 per school. 




Alex Iles is an exceptional jazz trombonist, educator, and is also the top call session player in the Los Angeles TV and movie recording scene.  You’ve all heard him in movies and TV shows  (The Incredibles, Spiderman I and II, Pirates of the Carribean, Seinfeld, Polar Express, Planet of the Apes, etc).  He has a long and spectacular history in the world of jazz, including lead trombone with Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman, Henry Mancini, Gordon Goodwin, Harry Connick Jr., and many more. Here’s an awesome video online


Bob Bowman is a brilliant bassist who resides part time in Montana, so maybe you’ve heard him play.  Bob spent many years with Thad Jones and Mel Lewis (with whom he earned a Grammy), Freddie Hubbard, Bud Shank, Frank Mantooth, Toshiko Akiyoshi and more.  If you’ve heard him play, to say he commands the room from the bass is an understatement!  Bob loves to work with students and musicians alike, sharing his anecdotes and musical ideas and we are lucky to have him in the state!  His website is


Scott Jeppesen, our newest faculty member at MSU Billings, will also be a clinician.  Scott spent many years in Los Angeles as a jazz musician, multi-instrumentalist and composer and we are indeed lucky to have him.  With a Doctorate from University of Southern California, Scott has performed with a slew of all-stars, including; Maria Schneider, Bobby McFerrin, Burt Bacharach, Stevie Wonder, Nancy Wilson, Artie Shaw, Bob Mintzer, Dave Brubeck, Natalie Cole, Louis Bellson, Al Jarreau, Steve Miller, Randy Brecker and more.


Brennan Baglio, is the Director of Choirs at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, where he directs the Studio Singers, Collegiate Chorale, and teaches second year music theory and aural skills classes. Brennan is a native of the Seattle area and previously taught choir, piano, voice, and music technology courses at Bellevue College. Brennan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting, both from Central Washington University.




The Jazz Festival Concert featuring the MSUB Jazz Band and the guest artist will take place at the MSUB Petro Theater from 7-9 pm on Friday, January 26th (doors open at 6:15 pm).  General Admission tickets to attend the performance are only $10.  FREE Admission with valid MSUB ID at the door.


MSU Billings’ past jazz festivals have been very successful with guest artists such as Wayne BergeronKatisse Buckingham, 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.


MSUB jazz band rehearsing Fall 2017

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



Alex Iles

Alex is a Conn/Selmer performing artist



Bob Bowman
Bob Bowman a jazz bassist / composer / educator



Scott Jeppesen

Scott Jeppesen Assistant Professor of Music at MSUB



Brennan Baglio

Brennan Baglio the Director of Choirs at Northwest College Powell, WY



This  event was made possible in  part by student fees allocated by the ASMSU Billings Senate.


For more information please contact John Roberts.