NCCU Jazz Ensemble to Perform at Lincoln Center in Jack Rudin Competition

Posted December 16, 2019, 3:43PM

The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Jazz Ensemble will perform at Lincoln Center in New York City during the debut of the Jack Rudin Jazz Championship, a two-day invitational band competition. 

The event, which takes place on Jan. 18-19, 2020, will feature sets from 10 ensembles chosen from among prominent university jazz programs in the country. NCCU is the only historically black college and university (HBCU) represented. The Jack Rudin competition is expected to become an annual event.

This as a great honor and opportunity to participate in Inaugural Rudin Jazz Collegiate Jazz Competition. As educators and musicians, we strive to provide our students with quality education and hands-on experiences while maintaining the integrity of jazz.

Ira Wiggins, Ph.D., director of NCCU Jazz Studies Program

Honoring the legacy of Jack Rudin, a longtime supporter of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the competition will provide participants with quality musical literature and a forum for celebrating their achievements, while instilling higher education methodology and philosophy to the Jazz at Lincoln Center programs.

“This will be the greatest collection of young jazz talent in recent history,” said Todd Stoll, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s vice president of education. “These 10 bands represent the highest level of achievement in our music by young people.”

The two-day invitational competition will include a combo showcase and a final concert featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Rose Theater. 

It’s not just about winning, but the significance of being recognized among nationally acclaimed Jazz Programs, Wiggins adds. 

The ensembles will also participate in rehearsals, workshops and competition at Lincoln Center’s 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. 

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. 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.

To learn more about the competition, visit 

Enjoy the sounds of NCCU's Jazz Ensemble as they practice for the upcoming performance here

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