The Pacific Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Patrick Langham, placed second in the Big Band College Division at the Reno Jazz Festival, the largest such festival on the West Coast

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Pacific Jazz Musicians Earn High Marks in Reno and Beyond

The Conservatory of Music and the Brubeck Institute over the past couple of weeks have picked up substantial bragging rights.
May 6, 2013

Reno Jazz Festival

Pacific jazz musicians under the direction of Jazz Studies Director Patrick Langham scored very well at the 2013 Reno Jazz Festival (April 25-27), the largest such festival on the West Coast with more than 300 school groups and 9,000 participants. In only its third appearance in the festival, the Pacific jazz ensemble in the Big Band College Division earned 2,808 out of a possible 3,000 points on its way to a second place finish, a mere 67 points from tying for first place.

The group of Pacific musicians in the College Combo Division earned fifth place, but it was much closer than the ranking suggests. The Pacific group earned 1,958 points out of a possible 2,000 points, just 12 points from first place.

"I'm very proud of our students and our Jazz Studies program," said Langham. "The Pacific Jazz Studies degree program, approved in 2006, is an infant compared to the award-winning history represented by the other competing jazz ensembles. Since its development, Pacific has been making quite an impression among established jazz studies programs."

The fantastic showing at the Reno Jazz Festival comes on the heels of the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet performing at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, and the United Nations in New York City, and just as Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintets were named tops among college groups by DownBeat magazine.

DownBeat Student Music Awards

DownBeat magazine in its 36th annual Student Music Awards poll named two separate Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintets the best in the category that covers undergraduate college jazz groups. It is the first time two different Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintets have won the honor in the same year, and the sixth and seventh times overall in the Brubeck Institute's 12-year history that the magazine has honored the group.

The 2012-13 Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet won based on a demo recording and the 2011-12 group won based on the Origins CD recorded and released in collaboration with music and entertainment management students and the student recording label, Pac Ave Records. Pac Ave was founded in 2012 by students from both the Conservatory of Music and Eberhardt School of Business and continues to release music by Pacific students.

"What's significant about this is that we are competing against people who are a year or two older than Quintet members, that is, juniors and seniors from across the country," said Simon Rowe, Brubeck Institute executive director. "And we're competing, of course, against some much bigger schools and long-established jazz programs. ... It is exciting. It is exciting and it is significant."

Purchase the award-winning Origins CD on iTunes: