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May 22, 2024

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Grammy-Winning Trumpeter Headlines Jacquet Jazz Festival

Acclaimed musician and educator Brian Lynch and MTSU’s student Jazz Ensemble perform at MTSU's Wright Music Building on Saturday, April 2.

A Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter will headline Middle Tennessee State University’s annual Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 2, giving music lovers a public concert with MTSU School of Music students to cap a day of learning for area high-school musicians.

The concert, featuring acclaimed musician and educator Brian Lynch and MTSU’s student Jazz Ensemble I performing selections from Lynch’s acclaimed big-band album, “The Omni-American Book Club: My Journey Through Literature in Music,” is set for at 5:30 p.m. in Hinton Hall inside the Wright Music Building at 1439 Faulkinberry Drive.

Lynch, a five-time Grammy nominee, is a two-time winner, earning the 2019 best large jazz ensemble album award for “The Omni-American Book Club” and the 2006 award for best Latin jazz album.

The April 2 concert is free for MTSU students, faculty and staff and the workshop participants. Concert tickets for the public are available at $10 each by contacting Jamey Simmons, director of MTSU’s Jazz Studies Program, at

High school musicians can register through Thursday, March 31, to participate in all the events, either on campus or online via Zoom — at, where a complete schedule is available. Cost is $20 per student.

The day’s events also will be accessible at

Lynch, a studio instructor of jazz trumpet at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music in Coral Gables, Florida, will discuss his career as a working jazz musician, composer and educator and provide trumpet insights and details about jazz improvisation at a music clinic for students at 3:30 p.m. April 2.

A multi-award-winning musician who’s played with some of the iconic talents of the genre, including Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, the Horace Silver Quartet, and Latin jazz legend Eddie Palmieri, Lynch has released more than 20 albums.

The day also will include combo performances, a student jam session, a Jazz Ensemble II concert and a clinic by the MTSU Faculty Jazz Quintet for festival participants.

MTSU’s annual Jazz Festival, which honors the late tenor saxophonist Jean-Baptiste “Illinois” Jacquet, gives high school musicians an individual focus on jazz style and the art of jazz improvisation. Students in MTSU’s jazz program and area schools’ jazz ensembles participate in concerts and clinics led by faculty members and guests throughout the event.

The Illinois Jacquet Foundation established a scholarship for MTSU jazz students in the artist’s name in 2014. The School of Music renamed the festival in 2016 to honor Jacquet, an innovator with Count Basie’s and Lionel Hampton’s bands who died in 2004 after a storied 60-year-plus career that deeply influenced artists in jazz, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll.

Dr. Pamela Jacquet Davis, Jacquet’s daughter, and members of the foundation also plan to showcase a short film and presentation about the artist at noon Central on April 2 in the Instrumental Rehearsal Hall in the Wright Music Building.

For more information about the Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival at MTSU, contact Simmons at 615-898-2724 or email Details about MTSU’s Jazz Studies Program are available at