Jazz Festival

Morningside College Jazz Festival

The Morningside Jazz Festival provides educational opportunities for aspiring student jazz musicians, music teachers and the community at-large.


Save the Date! The 48th Morningside Jazz Festival will take place Wednesday through Friday, February 5-7, 2020. Guest Artist and clinician information will be announced in the early fall. 


The 47th Annual Morningside Jazz Festival will take place Wednesday through Friday, February 6-8, 2019. We are excited to welcome Dick Oatts, saxophone, and Dr. Steve Wright, trumpet, as this year's Morningside Jazz Ensemble guest artists and clinicians. The Morningside Jazz Ensemble will be directed by Dr. Erik Mahon.

  • 1A bands will perform Wednesday, February 6
  • 2A bands will perform Thursday, February 7
  • 3A and 4A bands will perform Friday, February 8

Festival Finale Concert

Friday, February 8, 2019, 7pm
Eppley Auditorium
Free and open to the public
Doors open at 6:30pm

Participant information:

Guest Artist Bios

Dick Oatts, an Iowa native, is Professor of Jazz Studies at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia. He also serves as Artistic Director and lead alto of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra in New York, which he joined in 1977 when it was the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. Raised in a musical family, Oatts studied at Drake University in Des Moines before becoming a professional musician. He has played with some of the heaviest names in jazz over the past several decades, including Bob Brookmeyer, Jon Faddis, Tito Puente, and Gunther Schuller.

Dr. Steve Wright, a native of Burlington, Iowa, is Professor Emeritus of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN), where he taught trumpet, jazz, and arranging for 24 years. After graduating from the University of Iowa, Wright joined the U.S. Air Force’s premier jazz ensemble, The Airmen of Note, as lead trumpet, as well as arranger. After completing his service, Wright moved to the Twin Cities where he lives today. He has played lead trumpet for Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Johnny Mathis, among a list of other notables.

For more information about the Morningside Jazz Festival, please contact:
Dr. Erik Mahon, Director of Jazz Studies
mahone@morningside.edu
(712) 274-5239