University Relations and Communications

Grammy-nominated trumpeter to headline MSUB’s Jazz Festival

MSUB Jazz Festival February 5th


One-day festival on Feb. 5 will feature clinics, a Master Class and an evening concert; all performances and clinics are open to the public.

January 15, 2016



John Roberts, Music Department, 657-2049
Carmen Price, University Relations & Communications, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Montana State University Billings jazz students will share the stage with Grammy-nominated trumpet player Wayne Bergeron during the university’s second annual Jazz Festival on Feb. 5.


The 17-student ensemble will perform with Bergeron—one of the most in-demand lead trumpet players on the Los Angeles scene—as part of the festival’s finale concert at 7 p.m. in Petro Theatre on the university campus.


“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to get to play with one of the best lead trumpeters of our time,” said MSUB music instructor John Roberts, who is spearheading the event. “Wayne Bergeron is arguably one of the most sought-out lead trumpet players, and certainly one of the most influential musicians on the big band jazz scene.”


Bergeron has worked with musicians from Natalie Cole to Green Day, Ray Charles, Michael Buble and Beyonce. He is the protégé of the legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and member of his famed band dating back to 1986 when he played lead trumpet for several years.


His signature high-octave trumpet playing has been featured on television hits like “Jeopardy!” and “Family Guy,” and he has contributed to a long list of soundtracks including “Frozen,” “Toy Story 3,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Enchanted.”


Under Roberts’ direction, students have been preparing for their moment to perform with the celebrated musician for several months.

“And, we have probably about 10 more rehearsals before the concert,” Roberts sad. “It’s been a little intense.”


Seth Robertus, a junior outdoor adventure leadership major and music minor, said preparation for the concert has been a “huge honor."

“This opportunity is amazing for us, to have such a huge name come to MSUB, and then be able to share the stage with him,” Robertus said. “It’s been a great time getting ready for it, but stressful nonetheless. Overall, I’d say it’s a fun challenge to have.”

The concert program will include a mix of jazz styles including swing, bebop, cha-cha, rumba and trumpet ballads.


“The concert will undoubtedly be one Billings’ premiere jazz events this year,” Roberts said. “Having someone of this caliber is major.”

Leading up to the evening concert, as much learning as listening is on tap during the day-long event, which will feature guest artists who will provide improvisation, instrumental and music production clinics beginning at 9 a.m., held between Cisel Hall and Petro Theatre.


Bergeron will off a Master Class for students at 12:45 p.m. in Cisel Hall.


“The day is about students interested in advancing their knowledge of jazz music while fine-tuning their musicianship through practice and performance opportunities,” Roberts said.


Roberts said being able to draw world-renowned musicians like Bergeron, and last year’s headliner Nick Mancini, vibraphonist and composer, helps re-establish the festival to what it once was, and also grow the music program at MSUB.


All performances and clinics are open to the public. Tickets to the evening concert are $10 for general admission. MSU Billings faculty and students are free with ID.


Tickets will be sold at the door.


Learn more about special guest Wayne Bergeron. For more information about the Jazz Festival, visit


»» Learn more about the MSUB’s Music Department.