NCCU Jazz Ensemble to Compete in 2023 Jack Rudin Competition at Lincoln Center

Posted January 11, 2023, 12:39PM

The North Carolina Central University Jazz Ensemble will return to the Lincoln Center in New York City to compete in the Jack Rudin Championship, a two-day band competition, on Jan. 14-15, 2023.

Under the direction of Robert Trowers, interim Jazz Ensemble director, NCCU, which ranked third place in the 2022 championship, is the only historically Black college and university (HBCU) represented among the 10 institutions slated to compete.

The event will include a combo showcase and a final concert featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Rose Theater. The final competition will feature performances by the top three bands, followed by an awards ceremony and announcement of the winner of top honors. The ensembles will also participate in rehearsals and workshops throughout Rose Hall over the course of the event.

Founded in 2020, the competition honors the legacy of Jack Rudin, a longtime supporter of Jazz at Lincoln Center, by providing participating ensembles with quality musical literature and a forum for celebrating their achievements; expanding Jazz at Lincoln Center’s programs with the latest higher education ideology; and preparing the next generation of leading jazz artists.

NCCU was the first university in the state to offer the Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies. The program now includes a comprehensive vocal jazz component and offers a Master of Music in both jazz composition and jazz performance. In summer 2023, the university will launch an online Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies. Alumni from the Jazz Studies Program include professors at the college and university levels, teachers of primary and secondary music education, as well as production and performance artists.

Tickets are available at, and the events will also stream live on The competition schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023

  • 7 p.m.: Combo Showcase (Appel Room)

Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023

  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Competition Part I (Rose Theater)
  • 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.: Competition Part II (Rose Theater)
  • 7:30 p.m.: Final round of competition, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performance and Awards Ceremony (Rose Theater)

To learn more about the 2023 Jack Rudin Championship, visit

For information about the NCCU Jazz Studies Program, contact Lenora Helm Hammonds, DMA, interim department chair and director of graduate programs, at

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