Grissom Jazz Band Will Perform With Top Schools in the Nation

Grissom High’s “A” Jazz Band is one of only twelve from across the country selected to compete in the “Swing Central Jazz Band Competition” as a part of the annual Savannah Music Festival to be held March 29-31, 2017 in Georgia.  This is the school’s third time in the past five years to be selected for the event.  Bands must submit an audio recording that is judged by an independent panel using a blind review process to select the top twelve. All of the bands will compete at the festival for $13,000 in cash awards, with the top three groups selected to perform at the festival’s celebration to honor the legendary jazz musicians, “Dizzy” Gillespie and Thelonious Monk.

The Swing Central Jazz event is not only a competition, but is also a workshop that offers students a collective approach to big band jazz instruction.  The instructional team is led by noted musician and educator Marcus Roberts, along with a variety of jazz professionals such as Jason Marsalis, Rodney Whitaker, Wycliffe Gordon, and Jim Ketch.  Students get the opportunity to work with multiple musicians during their individual band clinic along with an improvisation workshop and sectionals.

Theo Vernon, the Associate Grissom Band Director, is honored to have the group selected for the festival because the opportunity for his students “is very rewarding since they will work up close with some of the top jazz musicians in the country.”  Vernon added the band will have upcoming fundraisers to help cover the cost of the trip for his students. For more information on the band or to find out how to help, visit

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