Jazz Trombone Ensemble Wins Premier National Competition

The University of Illinois Jazz Trombone Ensemble (JTE), directed by Professor Jim Pugh, has once again won the prestigious American Trombone Workshop’s National Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition. This is the fifth time they have been so honored (2012, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2020), and along with winning the Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble competition twice (2012, 2017), makes them the most decorated group of this kind in the world.

The American Trombone Workshop is sponsored annually by The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and takes place in and around their performance facility, Brucker Hall, at Ft. Myer, VA. The U of I group will perform at the Workshop, on Friday, March 6, 2020 at 6:00PM EST. For those unable to attend in person, this performance, as well as the entire Workshop, will be streamed live on the US Army Band’s YouTube channel. 

The JTE will be embark on a mini-tour at the beginning of March and ‘play’ their way to Ft. Myer. Performances along the way will include Indiana University (March 2), Oberlin College (March 3), Penn State University (March 4) and, of course, Ft. Myer on March 6.

U of I Jazz Trombone Ensemble has been selected to perform at the 63rd Monterey Jazz Festival. Due to the size of the group, they entered for consideration in the College Big Band category and were one of only 3 ensembles invited to perform. A like-instrument group being selected from the sea of normal instrumentation big band entries came both as a great surprise, an incredible honor and an welcome acknowledgement of the playing and writing talent contained in this ensemble. The JTE only performs music composed and/or arranged by its members. The two other invited groups are both traditional big bands: one from UNLV (directed by David Loeb) and the other from USC (directed by Bob Mintzer). The Monterey Jazz Festival runs from September 25th through the 27th in Monterey, CA.

Jazz Trombone Ensemble
Pictured (L to R): Paul Mock (guitar); Crystal Rebone (bass); Ian Loechl (bass trombone); Jacob Truckenbrod (trombone); Chris Morrow (drums); Ben Carrasquillo (trombone); Frank Niemeyer (trombone); Jeremiah St. John (trombone); not pictured Jesus Fuentes Valverde (piano).


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