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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Contemporary Music Festival

Page address:

February 28, 2015

 Link to festival website

The Department of Music annually hosts JazzFest, a one-day festival featuring outstanding performances by professional musicians and college and high school groups. This year the festival will be changed from a 'JazzFest' to a 'Contemporary Music Festival.'  This allows contemporary music groups that fall outside of the traditional jazz genre to participate; such as hip hop ensembles, mariachi ensembles, and pop acapella groups.  Bands are judged on overall performance and receive oral and written critiques from qualified judges. Topical clinics are held by visiting artists and clinicians. All clinics are free and open to all festival participants, directors, and the public.


The main guest artist for the 2015 festival is guitarist Mike Stern.  Mike was a guitarist with Miles Davis, breifly with Blood Sweat and Tears, with the Brecker Bros, and has had his own group for several years.  He was listed by DownBeat magazine as one of the 75 all time best guitarists in the world.  For more information on Mike Stern please visit his website -


Along with Mike Stern, we will feature Kenni Holman (Sax-Hornheads), Ryan Frane (Piano-Director of Jazz UM-Duluth), Jeff Bailey (Bass-McNally Smith), and Steve Jennings (Drums-McNally Smith).  For more information and to get registered please contact Dr. Doug Snapp -


Past visiting artists include:
  • Denis Di Blasio
  • Peter Erskine
  • Pat Harbison
  • Hal Melia
  • The Music Tech Sextet
  • Bobby Shew