University Relations and Communications


December 14, 2016

 Jazz Festival Guest Performer, Katisse

Groundbreaking sax and jazz flutist slated for MSUB Jazz Festival

MSUB Jazz Festival to culminate with concert featuring guest artist Katisse Buckingham and the MSUB Jazz Band from 7-9p.m., Jan. 27, at Petro Theater. Cost is $10, or free with valid MSUB ID at the door. 



John Roberts, Music Department, 657-2049

University Relations, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Back in 2004, the hit movie “Anchorman,” hit the big screen. It includes the scene many Americans still love: where character Ron Burgundy is easily goaded into playing his flute.


That clip has become synonymous with “jazz flute,” but Katisse Buckingham, the Los Angeles-based musician who recorded the track for the movie, didn’t know it at the time.


“I thought it was just another recording session,” Buckingham said.


The lesson, he said, is that monumental aspects of being a musician don’t always come when expected.


“Some of the most memorable experiences I’ve had I didn’t really think they would be when I was doing it,” he said.


Katisse with his instrumentsBuckingham hopes to impart that lesson on the student musicians he’ll encounter at the upcoming Montana State University Billings Jazz Festival as this year’s guest artist.


The festival takes place on January 27 and will feature several college, high school and middle school jazz ensembles from around the state.


Buckingham leads his own contemporary ensemble playing with Billy Childs’ jazz quartet, the Zaqinul Legacy project and John DaVersa’s large ensemble.


He also spends a lot of time in the recording studio and has been featured in movies like “Minions” and “All is Lost”, among many others. He has also recorded with or performed with artists like Dr. Dre and Prince.


His versatile style, influenced by everything from classic rock, hip hop, Afro-Cuban and blue grass and he strives to live by the words of Duke Ellington who said, “There are two kinds of music – good music, and the other kind.”


“I’m ears wide open,” he said. “And I’d like to impart with students that there are many different styles of music that are viable and important. With a great jazz foundation that can easily parlay into a wonderful career.”


Past festivals have been very successful with guest artists such as Wayne Bergeron, Maynard Ferguson, Bill Watrous and Doc Cheatum, to name a few.


Regardless of size, the ensembles descending on MSUB for the festival will have opportunities for adjudication by a variety of highly experienced clinicians. 


MSUB Assistant Professor of Low Brass John Roberts said he is excited for this year’s festival, which is made possible in part by student fees allocated by the Associated Students of MSU Billings Senate.


Registration for the clinic for schools is still open.


“I’m really excited about Katisse and our line-up of clinicians we have for this year’s festival,” Roberts said. “It’s going to give students a wonderful opportunity to learn a lot and have a great time.”


Last year, roughly 900 people came to the festival and Roberts anticipates turn-out to be at least that many.


He’s optimistic the concert will sellout as well. The evening show, from 7-9p.m., January 27, at Petro Theater on the University campus will feature the MSUB Jazz Ensemble and Buckingham.


Tickets are $10 and available here. Students, staff and faculty with a valid ID are free. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. 


MSUB Jazz Band


MSU Billings Jazz Band