The annual UNH jazz festival features guest artists, UNH jazz faculty, the UNH Jazz Band, and high- and middle-school students from throughout New England.
The UNH jazz faculty enjoyed a long-standing relationship with jazz great, Clark Terry. In his honor and name, the Music Department holds an annual jazz festival. The festival includes adjudicated performances by high- and middle-school groups, clinics and performances by guest artists and UNH students, and gala concerts by guest artists and the UNH Jazz Band.
Each year, the festival attracts jazz groups from 55-60 high schools and middle schools throughout New England and New York. Performing groups include high school big bands, middle school big bands, jazz combos, jazz choirs, as well as solo vocalists. All groups are adjudicated and given written and recorded comments.
Jazz Fest 2020 Saturday, March 14
Tanya Darby, trumpet
Seaside, California, native Tanya Darby is a current and veteran member of such groups as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the Michel Camilo Big Band, and the Rufus Reid Large Ensemble, among others. She has performed and toured with artists such as Dianne Reeves, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Paquito D’Rivera, and Gladys Knight, and ensembles including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Ron Carter Great Big Band, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and the Mingus Big Band. She has appeared on the television show BET on Jazz as part of the T.S. Monk Sextet and performed with Aretha Franklin as part of the "Arista Records' 25th Year Anniversary Special" on NBC.
Darby’s accomplishments as a lead trumpet player keep her in demand. She has played lead in numerous bands including Paquito D’Rivera and the United Nations Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, and Jimmy Heath’s Queens Jazz Orchestra, among many others.
An experienced educator, Darby is a former assistant professor of lead trumpet at the University of North Texas. She has also served as adjunct faculty at Temple University and the New School University of New York City.
Walter Smith III
From a young age, Walter began taking music very seriously. “My first gig was playing at a McDonalds in Houston with another saxophone player. I took a solo on “Blue Bossa.” It was terrible. People clapped, and I figured if I could get away with that and get applause, how could I fail?”
Although it may appear Smith is a new voice on the scene, he is widely recognized as an adept performer, accomplished composer, and inspired educator. Smith released his 5th album as a leader, “Twio” in February of 2018 with his longtime trio of Harish Raghavan and Eric Harland including guest appearances by Christian McBride and Joshua Redman.
In the Jazz tradition, Smith has developed under the wings of many of the music’s greats. Walter is/has been a member of several legendary groups (recording and/or touring) including the Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Terence Blanchard Quintet, Eric Harland's “Voyager”, Jason Moran’s In My Mind:Monk at Town Hall, Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet, the Christian McBride “Situation”, Christian Scott group and the Sean Jones Quintet to name a few. Smith has performed all over the world participating in virtually every international festival as well as famed venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. In addition, he has shared the stage and/or appeared on recordings with many Jazz notables including Mulgrew Miller, Eric Reed, Billy Childs, Joe Lovano, Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lynne Carrington, Bill Stewart, Ralph Peterson, and a host of others. To date, Walter has appeared on over 100 recordings that are released worldwide.
Originally from Houston, TX, Smith now resides in Boston, MA and is Chair of Woodwinds at Berklee College of Music helping to prepare the next generation of Jazz students.
Evening Performance with UNH Faculty
Memorial Union Building
Granite State Room
Apply to Jazz Fest
Assistant Professor of Music (jazz, woodwinds)
M129 Paul Creative Arts Center
30 Academic Way
University of New Hampshire
Phone: (603) 862-2404
Fax: (603) 862-3155
Department of Music
Paul Creative Arts Center
30 Academic Way
Phone: (603) 862-2404
Release Date: Monday, February 23, 2015
Jazz great Clark Terry passed away on February 21, 2015. He was 94 years old.
Clark Terry was an affiliate professor of music at the University of New Hampshire. He had a 40-year relationship with the institution. Music Professor Dave Seiler brought Terry to UNH in the mid-1970s to headline his new jazz festival. Thus started a long friendship between the two and an ongoing affiliation, with Terry returning to UNH annually to perform and record with scores of UNH students and faculty members. Terry led student tours of Europe and, in 1976, fronted the UNH Jazz Band that became the first college ensemble ever to play on an evening bill at the famed Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. UNH awarded Terry an honorary doctorate, his first, in 1978, and the Pettee Medal in 2002.
An obituary in the Boston Globe explains Terry's impact on the world of jazz and jazz education.
"He left a real lasting impact on kids," David Seiler, director of jazz studies at UNH, told the Globe. "I've had all kinds of people here doing clinics, but nobody tops him. He inspired kids so readily."
Seiler added that Terry "exuded joy through his instrument" and that when he taught young musicians, "he'd say, 'The purpose of the clinic is the perpetuation of the jazz language.' He always said that. Even in his 90s he was inspiring people."
Terry was recently in the public eye thanks to a documentary about him released last year. Called Keep On Keepin’ On, the critically-acclaimed film by Alan Hicks examines the relationship between the trumpeter Clark Terry and the young pianist Justin Kauflin.
More information on Terry can be found in the New York Times tribute: Clark Terry, Master of Jazz Trumpet, Dies at 94.