Every year, High School students all over North America from California to Texas to Canada are looking forward to coming to Boston for the annual Berklee High School Jazz Festival, the largest event of its kind in the United States. Competing for $175,000 in scholarships to various Berklee summer programs, each school will be performing in either competing or non-competing categories for different awards, judged by a panel of Berklee’s top faculty who will give them a written critique of their performance.
The competitions between schools are not the only events going on during the festival. Renowned Berklee alumni such as drummer Kendrick Scott ’02, who appeared on soundtracks to seven feature films, and saxophonist Hailey Niswanger ’11, who has played all over the globe, including the 2011 Panama Jazz Festival, will be performing and giving clinics. Berklee ensembles will also be performing throughout the day. The Tower of Power Ensemble will go live at 4:00 p.m. and the P-Funk Ensemble. The day concludes with award presentations at 6:00 p.m. and the winners showcase at 7:30 p.m.
The event is free, open to the public, and taking place at the Hynes Convention Center from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. I would highly recommend coming by to listen to over 3,000 talented high school students performing for the opportunity to attend Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Program. Even as a musician who is not studying jazz here at Berklee, I’m definitely excited to see young talent from all over the country convening in Boston to show off their skills. It’s always interested to see if any of these talented students head to study at Berklee after their festival experiences. Hope to see you there!