Concert Jazz Band
For over thirty years, the University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band has established a reputation for excellence through performances in Europe, the Soviet Union, and throughout the United States. The University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band under the direction of Professor McNeill has been invited to past IAJE performances in NYC and Montreal, numerous jazz festival performances including The North Texas Jazz Festival (where they won the Dr. Gene Hall award for best big band), The Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, The Elmhurst Jazz Festival and the Northern Colorado Jazz Festival to name a few. Other Significant Past performances include the the Mobile Jazz Festival, the Intercollegiate Jazz Festival at St. Louis, The Millikin Jazz Festival and The Purdue Jazz Festival.
The group also has numerous CD recordings available for sale the latest of which is a double CD entitled “Freeplay” and has garnered critical acclaim. All the compositions and arrangements on “Freeplay” were done by members of the ensemble and some of the compositions/arrangements have won awards including the JEN conference best student jazz composition/arrangement award at the 2011and 2014 JEN conference and an ASCAP best composition award for 2011. The band was also invited to perform at the 2012 and 2014 JEN conferences in Louisville, KY and Dallas, TX, the Midwest band and orchestra clinic for 2011 in Chicago, IL and has previously been invited to perform at the IAJE conferences in New York and Toronto, Canada. Original compositions and arrangements by members of the band are featured on the band’s earlier CD’s “Get Here Sooner”, and “As Of Yet” and our double CD, “Freeplay”. The band has a new CD soon to be released in featuring the U of I jazz faculty and the CJB performing the music of Park “Pepper” Adams-legendary jazz baritone saxophonist.
In addition, the band features downbeat student award winners in jazz vocal performance and jazz instrumental performance as well as Jazz arranging/composition winners.
For more information, contact the Jazz Performance division chair, Chip McNeil.