JF50 Guest Artist: The Adam Larson Quartet

Twenty seven year-old saxophonist-composer Adam Larson, endorsed artist for P. Mauriat saxophones, D’Addario Woodwinds and Lebayle mouthpieces, began playing saxophone at the age of 11. As a high school student, Larson was a member of virtually every national program dedicated to showcasing excellence in young jazz talent including The Grammy Band, Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, Betty Carter Jazz Ahead, YoungArts Jazz Fellows, Telluride Student All-Stars, Jazz Band of America and many others. Described by critic Howard Reich of The Chicago-Tribune as “a player for whom the word ‘prodigious’ was coined”, by Peter Hum of the Ottawa Citizen as “a saxophonist who brings Donny McCaslin and Mark Turner to mind”, and by Nate Chinen of The New York Times as “a self-assured young saxophonist”, Larson has garnered numerous awards that distinguish him as one of the most promising artists of his generation. 

With four records under his name, Larson’s latest, entitled “Second City”, will be released on the Inner Circle Music Label, in the Fall of 2017. Larson’s 2015 debut for Inner Circle, “Seclective Amnesia” was featured in the New York Times, Downbeat, Saxophone Journal and several other publications in print and online. Larson keeps an active schedule with his groups and as a sideman, having performed at several venues across the U.S. including Birdland, The 55 Bar, The Jazz Gallery, The Blue Note, The Village Vanguard, Smalls, Cornelia St. Café, The Kitano, Dizzy’s Club-Coca Cola, Jazz at The Bistro, The Jazz Showcase, and several others. As a sideman, Adam has performed with numerous groups including Jamie Cullum, Ted Rosenthal, The Ari Hoenig Nonet, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Otis Brown III Band, Michael Rodriguez Quintet and the Helen Sung Quartet. Larson’s sound can be heard on numerous recordings from bandleaders such as Nils Weinhold, Bastian Weinhold, Marcus Lewis, Joo Chan Im, Victor Bastidas, and others. 

Adam has been a part of several tours that have allowed him to see more of the world than he once thought possible. Larson’s quartet was selected as one of ten ensembles to tour on behalf of the U.S. State Department’s “American Music Abroad” program and toured Africa for 35 days in April 2015, visiting The Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin and Ghana. Larson has also toured India, Taiwan, Holland, and Germany as well much of the United States. In October of 2017, Larson will travel to Poland to be the a guest artist, performing at the Sopot Jazz Festival.

Beyond maintaining an active touring and recording schedule, Larson continues to be a sought after clinician and master class presenter at several high schools and Universities across the Midwest and beyond. Appearances include Temple University, Yale, Manhattan School of Music, University of North Texas, Elmhurst College, Roosevelt College, University of Illinois, Univesity of Colorado-Greeley, Northern Illinois University, University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire, Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Illinois Central College and Hutchinson Community College, among many others. Adam maintains an impressive portfolio of commissioned ensemble writing for school jazz ensembles, having written thirty original works to date. Larson is currently a Teaching Artist for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz For Young People, The New York Pops Ed education programs, and has a diverse private lesson studio of Skype students from the U.S. and abroad. Larson has also taught as a substitute at The Manhattan School of Music and New York University.

Upsilon Phi and Truman State University are very pleased to welcome Adam Larson and his quartet as the Guest Artist for Jazz Fest 50!


Conrad Herwig

New York jazz trombonist Conrad Herwig has recorded 19 albums as a leader. His newest CD release is The Latin Side of Wayne Shorter on Half Note Records, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009. This is the follow-up project to the 2005 Grammy-nominated CD, Another Kind of Blue: The Latin Side of Miles Davis, and the 1998 Grammy-nominated CD, The Latin Side of John Coltrane. These exciting projects were recorded live at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City and feature special guests Eddie Palmieri, Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Valentin and Brian Lynch. His most recent solo recordings on the CrissCross label are A Jones for Bones Tones, Obligation, Land of Shadow, Hieroglyphica, Unseen Universe, Osteology, and Heart of Darkness which received 4 and 1/2 stars in DownBeat Magazine. He has also been voted #1 Jazz Trombonist (TDWR) in the 2002 DownBeat Jazz Critic’s Poll.

In constant demand as a sideman, Herwig has been a featured member in the Joe Henderson Sextet, Horace Silver Octet, Tom Harrell’s Septet and Big Band, and the Joe Lovano Nonet (featured as a soloist on Lovano’s Grammy Award winning 52nd St Themes). Conrad also performs and records with Eddie Palmieri’s “La Perfecta II” and Afro-Caribbean Jazz Octet, Paquito D’Rivera’s Havana-New York Connection, the Mingus Big Band (often serving as musical director, and arranger on the 2007 Grammy-nominated Live at the Tokyo Blue Note). In other big band settings Conrad has also performed with Clark Terry, Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis & Quincy Jones, the Gil Evans Orchestra, Tito Puente, and Mario Bauza, having recorded on over 200 albums in his 30+ year career.

Mr. Herwig is an alumnus of North Texas State University in Denton, Texas (where he performed in the One O’Clock Jazz Lab Band), Goddard College in Plainfield, VT, (Bachelor of Arts in Afro-Caribbean ethnomusicology), and Queens College,CUNY, (Master of Arts, Jazz Studies). Herwig  has conducted masterclasses, seminars, and workshops at major universities and conservatories around the world including the Sibelius Academy, Finland; the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin; the University of Koln, Germany; Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY; the University of Southern California and literally hundreds of others.

Herwig is a recipient of performance and teaching grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is currently Professor of Jazz Trombone, Jazz Improvisation, and Jazz Comp/Arr at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Conrad was elected to the Board of Advisors of the International Trombone Association for a second time in 2006.

Donny McCaslin


Born August 11, 1966, McCaslin grew up in in Santa Cruz, CA; inspired by his father, a pianist and vibraphonist, the youngster started playing tenor saxophone at 12, and quickly progressed, touring Europe and participating in the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival’s California All-Star band while in high school. After attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he joined Berklee professor Gary Burton’s quintet, with whom he toured for four years. McCaslin moved to New York, in 1991, working with bassist Eddie Gomez and then joining the group Steps Ahead, with whom he made the 1995 disc Vibe (NYC Records). But he really began to turn heads with his solo work in larger ensembles – first Ken Schaphorst’s big band, and subsequently the acclaimed Maria Schneider Orchestra, where his performance on the album Concert In The Garden received a Grammy nomination for “Best Jazz Instrumental Solo” in 2004.

So much for McCaslin’s “traditional” credentials, which provide the anchor for his much-admired work in more adventurous realms. Chief among these is the pianoless quartet Lan Xang (which evolved from an experimental partnership with fellow New York saxist David Binney) and the quintet led by the widely lionized trumpeter Dave Douglas, who added McCaslin to his band in 2005. Reviewing the Douglas Quintet in Jazz Times, Josef Woodard wrote of McCaslin: “He’s a versatile player who moves easily between inside and outside musical zones . . . . [T]here’s a fluidity and grace to his playing even when he’s pushing at envelopes.”

Thanks to the high profile of the Dave Douglas Quintet, McCaslin in the last two years has achieved wider praise for the incisive twists and purposeful turns of his emotionally charged solos. But those qualities – along with his sometimes startling virtuosity, and his distinctive voice as a composer – had actually been on display for much of the previous decade, during which McCaslin proved himself a valued sideman on recordings by Danilo Perez, Luciana Souza, and performances with Tom Harrell, Brian Blade, John Pattitucci, The Mingus Big Band, and Pat Metheny. . Meanwhile, the previous albums under his own name have shown him subtly incorporating elements of Latin American music within adventurous jazz frameworks.

In 2006, McCaslin received a Doris Duke grant for new jazz composition from Chamber Music America; his album In Pursuit comprises the results of that work.

JazzFest Online Application Submitted

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Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival
Department of Music
Ophelia Parish 1101
Kirksville, MO 63501

Adam McCann
JazzFest 49 Chair

Tim AuBuchon
Assistant Professor of Music, Jazz Studies
(660) 785-4412 / aubuchon@truman.edu

Past Guest Artists

1969 – Local Artists [poster]
1970 – Local Artists [poster]
1971 – Clark Terry, trumpet [poster]
1972 – Clark Terry, trumpet
1973 – Arnie Lawrence, alto sax
1974 – Bill Watrous, trombone
1975 – Gary Burton, vibes
1976 – Marty Stamm, trumpet [poster]
1977 – Eddie Daniels, woodwinds
1978 – Carl Fontana, trombone [poster]
1979 – Arnie Lawrence, alto sax [poster]
1980 – Mike Metheny, flugelhorn
1981 – Steve Stewart, trombone [poster]
1982 – Arch Martin, trombone
1983 – Les DeMerle, percussionist
1984 – Mike Metheny, flugelhorn
1985 – Willie Thomas, trumpeter
1986 – Tamara Schultz, alto sax
1987 – Carl Fontana, trombone [poster]
1988 – Pete Christlieb, tenor sax [poster]
1989 – Mike Metheny, flugelhorn [poster]
1990 – Nick Brignola, bari sax [poster]
1991 – Ryan Kisor, trumpet [poster]
1992 – John Fedchock, trombone [poster]
1993 – Danilo Perez, piano
1994 – Ted Nash, tenor sax [poster]
1995 – Tim Hagans, trumpet [poster]
1996 – Clay Jenkins, trumpet; Kim Richmond, alto sax [poster]
1997 – Jon Faddis, trumpet [poster]
1998 – Slide Hampton, trombone [poster]
1999 – Ernie Watts, tenor sax
2000 – Peter Erskine, drums [poster]
2001 – Bobby Watson, alto sax [poster]
2002 – Wycliffe Gordon, trombone [poster]
2003 – Randy Brecker, trumpet [poster]
2004 – John Abercrombie, guitar [poster]
2005 – Matt Wilson Arts & Crafts Quartet [poster]
2006 – Dick Oatts, alto sax; Mike Kocour, piano
2007 – Joey Sellers, trombone
2008 – Ingrid Jensen, trumpet
2009 – Ben Allison, bass [poster]
2010 – Donny McCaslin, tenor sax
2011 – Conrad Herwig, trombone
2012 – John McNeil, trumpet
2013 – Ehthan Iverson, piano
2014 – Sam Newsome, soprano sax
2015 – Ray Anderson, trombone
2016 – Ron Miles, cornet

Performance Guidelines

New for 2017: Due to an ongoing total renovation on Baldwin Hall, Jazz Fest 49 will take place in the Student Union Building. A detailed map will be included in the packet sent in February. Because of the nature of the building and the amount of travel between floors, Drum Sets (no cymbals) will be provided in warm-up, performance, and clinic rooms. You may elect to bring your own drum set if you so desire. You will be responsible for providing cymbals.


Personnel: All participants in each ensemble must meet eligibility requirements as set forth by the National Federation of High School Activities Association. An accurate list of all personnel must be provided upon arrival at the festival (3 copies). Band directors are not permitted to perform with their group(s).

Awards: Outstanding Soloist awards will be handed out — please make sure to fill out the provided soloist information sheet.

Equipment: Truman State University will provide the following equipment in the performance rooms:

  • A sound-reinforcement system
  • Risers, chairs, stands, and electrical outlets
  • A grand piano
  • A vibraphone
  • Drum Set + Hardware (NO CYMBALS)

Each band must supply any additional equipment e.g. cymbals, amps, bass, guitars, auxiliary percussion, etc… If you have special equipment needs, please contact Tim AuBuchon at (660) 785-4412. He will take each situation into account and try to accommodate the specific needs of each band.

Warm-up Rooms: A warm-up room with piano, drum set, chairs, and stands will be provided. Warming up will be allowed only in the warm-up room during the allotted time without exception (NOT in the storage rooms, hallways, or performance site). (Note: Amps are not provided in warm-up rooms.)

Truman State University and the Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival cannot take responsibility for the loss of personal belongings, equipment etc. Each school will be assigned a monitored storage space (size determined by band size and number of bands) located on the bottom (first) floor or third floor of the Student Union Building, but individuals and band directors must take precautions to keep their equipment secure. Each school should vacate their storage space after their last group’s clinic, to curb the possibility of theft. NO drinking or eating will be allowed in the storage rooms.

Please make your students aware of these requests, especially the ban on playing outside of warmup rooms.

Performance and Clinic: Each group will be allotted 30 minutes (including set-up and tear-down) which will include performance. A clinician will observe each band, accompany them to a clinic room, and provide a 30 minute clinic (including set-up and tear-down). A piano and drum set (NO CYMBALS) will be provided in each clinic room. (Note: Amps are not provided in clinic rooms.)

Entrance Fees/Ticket Information: The entrance fee for each school is $175 for each ensemble and $175 for each combo. Please include the appropriate fee with your application. The registration deadline is February 1, 2017. We have had problems with faxes in the past, so though we will accept faxed entry forms, we need you to either call or email to make sure that we did receive your application. Please return your application as soon as possible – performance spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mail registration packets to:

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
Music Department
Ophelia Parrish 1101
Kirksville MO 63501-4221

Apply online:


Or fax to:


Faxed applications should be followed by phone call or email for confirmation.



2009 Festival Information

Friday, February 26, 2010
Daytime clinics featuring guest artist Donny McCaslin. A clinic/master class will take place from 4pm to 5pm and is open to all Truman State students.

Saturday, February 27, 2010
An all-day high school and middle school competition including performances, clinics for each band and a free master class by Donny McCaslin for all festival goers. It will also feature performances by TSU jazz combos, an awards ceremony, and an evening concert.

Admission into the daytime competition concerts is $2, but free to band members, band directors and bus drivers from participating schools.

The master class with Donny McCaslin will be at 11:30am in Baldwin Auditorium.

The festival awards ceremony will take place at 5;15pm.

The evening concert feature Donny McCaslin with the TSU Jazz Ensemble will be at 8pm. Admission is $8 (free for those with a valid Truman State University ID).

Schools Attending

Crossroads College Preparatory School (combo, ensemble)
De Soto High School (ensemble)
Elseberry High School (ensemble)
Francis Howell North High School (combo, ensemble)
Hickman High School (ensemble)
Highland High School (ensemble)
Kirksville High School (ensemble)
Knoxville High School (ensemble)
Mark Twain High School (ensemble)
Moberly High School (ensemble)
North County High School (ensemble)
Orchard Farm High School (ensemble)
Pacific High School (ensemble)
Rich Central High School (ensemble)
Rock Bridge High School (2 combos, ensemble)
Troy Buchanan High School (ensemble)
Wentzville Holt High School (ensemble)

Crossroads Middle School (ensemble)
Jefferson Junior High School (ensemble)
Oakland Junior High School (ensemble)
West Junior High School (combo, ensemble)

Updated: 02.11.10

2009 Competition Results

Below are the final, posted results for 2009 Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival.

Middle School
1st – Hannibal Middle School
2nd – West Jr. High School Jazz Ensemble
3rd – Jefferson Jr. High School
Outstanding Soloist – Carter Datz (West Jr. High)

Combo Division
1st – Rock Bridge High School
2nd – West Jr. High School Combo
3rd – Jackson high School Combo
Outstanding Soloist – Peter Eddins (Lincoln Academy)

Band 3A
1st – Mark Twain High School
2nd – Highland High School
3rd – Orchard Farm High School
Outstanding Soloist – Misty Todd (Highland)

Band 4A
1st – Hannibal High School Jazz Ensemble
2nd – Moberly High School
3rd – Platte County High School
Outstanding Soloist – Cory Lajeunesse (Moberly)

Band 5A
1st – Rock Bridge High School Jazz Ensemble
2nd – Jackson High School
3rd – Pattonville Jazz Ensemble
Outstanding Soloist – Jason Matthews (Rock Bridge)

Updated: 03.02.09

Ben Allison

Ben AllisonBen Allison is a “visionary composer, adventurous improviser, and strong organizational force on the New York City jazz scene, [and] has emerged as a rising star over the past decade” (JazzTimes). Called “one of today’s best young jazz musicians” by the Boston Globe, Ben has released eight albums of original music all of which showcase Ben’s forward-thinking vision as a producer, composer, arranger, and bassist, and his hands-on approach to his craft.

Cited in the “Best Bassist” category of the 2007, 2006 and 2005 Downbeat Readers’ Poll, Ben’s work has not gone unnoticed by the press. Since 2003 Ben has been routinely listed in the Downbeat Critics Poll in an extremely wide variety of categories including “Bassist,” “Composer,” “Rising Star Bassist,” (ranking #1 in 2005, 2006 and 2007), “Rising Star Album,” “Rising Star Acoustic Group,” “Rising Star Arranger,” and “Rising Star Jazz Artist,” all of which is a testament to his dedication as a musician.

Born in 1966 in New Haven, Connecticut, Ben has performed the world over with musicians ranging from oudist Ara Dinkjian to saxophonist Lee Konitz to legendary performance artist Joey Arias. He has appeared on over 40 albums by various artists and has written music for film, national television and radio, including the theme for the National Public Radio (NPR) show On the Media(which boasts a listenership of over 1,000,000 people per week) and the score for Two Days, a play written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donald Margulies. He was a featured artist with the Jazz Sinfonica Orchestra of Sao Paulo in 2005 and 2008

Jazz Fest 46

February 21-22, 2014

Festival Information

Competition Information

Sponsor Information

  • Coming Soon: Advertise at Jazz Fest or become a Patron of Jazz Fest

For more information, contact:

Dominic Fitzgerald
Jazz Fest Chair

Tim AuBuchon
Assistant Professor of Music, Jazz Studies
(660) 785-4412