The Clark Terry UNH Jazz Festival

Clark Terry UNH Jazz Festival logo

Jazz Fest 2023    
Saturday, March 11


Guest artists 2023  to be announced


Guest Artists 2022

Alexa Connolly


“[Alexa is] a one-woman wrecking crew, […] an indomitable force for expression, education, and absolute excellence.” - Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Alexa’s “high-octane [performance]” (Jazziz Magazine) and “sharply plotted but gracefully unencumbered straight-ahead jazz [compositions]” (The New York Times) establish her individual voice which shines through as a dynamic performer and educator. Tarantino was recently named one of the “Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of 2019” by the JazzTimes Critics’ Poll and nominated as a “Rising Star - Alto Saxophone” by Downbeat Magazine’s 2021 and 2020 Critics’ Poll.


Trent Austin


Celebrated trumpet artist, educator/clinician and entrepreneur, Trent Austin is a trumpeting Renaissance Man. His brilliant performances and recordings in both the jazz and classical music worlds, as well as packed-house Master Classes have garnered him rave reviews, awards and International acclaim.

Fiercely dedicated to the cause and development of music and jazz education, Trent was a trumpet professorat the University of Southern Maine for 9 years and regularly provides clinics and Master Classes nationwide at various trumpet and brass conferences, including at the International Trumpet Guild Conference and other trumpet/brass conferences. Austin also maintains an active teaching studio in Salem, Massachusetts and worldwide online via Skype, providing trumpet and jazz improvisation lessons. 


Taylor O'Donnell


Acclaimed jazz vocalist, songwriter, and educator, Taylor O’Donnell performs with her most recent quartet using her origins in R&B, jazz, rock, and roots to sing with raw passion and dexterity. Her extensive repertoire includes music derived from jazz, rock, and roots styles to arrangements of beloved jazz standards and pop hits. Known for her exploratory use of vocal timbre and texture, her shows take listeners on a deep dive through the world of Joni Mitchell, free improvisation, rock & roll, lullabies, and original song. 


Katie Seiler


Katie Seiler, born in Durham NH, attended Western Michigan University and received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Voice Performance in April 2009, and is now a recent graduate of New England Conservatory, receiving a Master of Music in Jazz Voice Performance. 

In addition to solo recitals, performances with the WMU Gold Company jazz choir, and with saxophonist Donny McCaslin, some of Katie’s performance highlights include appearances at the Pollyfolia Vocal Festival with the WMU Gold Company Sextet in Normandy, France, The Oprah Show as a backup singer for “Charice”, and at venues such as Scullers Jazz Club with vocal ensemble “Prism,” The Press Room jazz club in Portsmouth, NH, and more.  Studio recordings have included those at WMU, with Tim Hauserand, and with Gary Fry in Chicago.

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.


Apply to Jazz Fest

  • Jazz Fest  Registration Form 2023 will be posted here
  • Letter to Directors 2023 will be posted here
  • Concert Schedule 


Contact Information

Nathan Jorgensen
Associate 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

Lyndsay Boysen
Program Assistant
Summer Youth Music School
Clark Terry UNH Jazz Festival

Department of Music
Paul Creative Arts Center
30 Academic Way

Phone: (603) 862-2404

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Clark Terry
Passing: Clark Terry

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.