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Temple University Jazz Band Wins First-Place Prize at the Inaugural Jack Rudin Jazz Championship

Philadelphia, PA
January 20, 2020

The Boyer College of Music and Dance’s Temple University Jazz Band, directed by Terell Stafford, placed first at the Inaugural Jack Rudin Jazz Championship. Held on January 18-19 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, the Jazz Band was selected to participate as one of the top ten jazz programs in the country. In addition to the Jazz Band’s first-place award, the ensemble received accolades for Outstanding Rhythm Section, Outstanding Trombone Section and Outstanding Trumpet Section, with Dylan Band earning Outstanding Tenor Saxophone, and Fareed Simpson-Hankins earning Outstanding Trumpet.

“This recognition is well-deserved,” said Robert T. Stroker, Dean and Vice Provost for the Arts. “Our students are hard-working, dedicated and incredibly passionate. Combine that with amazing mentors like Terell Stafford, and you have a great recipe for success.”

The two-day invitational competition included rehearsals, coachings with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra musicians and a combo showcase. It culminated in a competition and final concert on Sunday evening, performed by the top 4 bands and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The panel of judges that selected the finalists and winners was made up of the top artists in jazz: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis; Grammy Award-winning double-bassist, and the most-recorded jazz bassist in history Ron Carter; critically acclaimed trumpet player Tanya Darby; big band leader, drummer and Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Jeff Hamilton; and Grammy Award-nominated baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our musicians. I have the incredible opportunity to witness their talent, dedication and growth on a regular basis, but it’s truly gratifying to see their musicianship come together on a grand stage in front of some of the top collegiate and professional musicians across the country,” said Terell Stafford, Laura H. Carnell Professor in Jazz. “Experiences like the Jack Rudin Jazz Championship further our program’s mission to give our students the foundation and faculties necessary for successful futures in jazz.”

The other colleges and universities selected to participate included California State University, Northridge, University of Northern Colorado, University of North Texas, Indiana University (second-place winner), Michigan State University (third-place winner), Eastman School of Music, North Carolina Central University, The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.

Along with the first-place award, Boyer College received $10,000 for its jazz program.

Read more about the competition on jazz.org.