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Thursday, June 20, 2024

North Carolina Central University Wins 2024 HBCU Jazz Combo Competition

The North Carolina Central University Jazz Ensemble in 2023. | Photo Courtesy of NCCU website.

North Carolina Central University Jazz Combo is the winner of the 2024 HBCU Jazz Combo Challenge!

NCCU’s Jazz Studies program has garnered recognition as a premier university program. In 2023, the Jazz Combo from NCCU secured the top prize in MJF’s national HBCU Jazz Combo Challenge, earning the opportunity to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Founded by jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd and guided by saxophonist, flutist, and educator Dr. Ira Wiggins, NCCU’s jazz faculty includes artists-in-residence Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo; Jazz Studies director and director of NCCU’s Combo 1, Robert Trowers (trombone); Albert Strong (trumpet); Helm Hammonds who directs NCCU’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble; Maurice Myers (vocals); Jim Crew (piano); J.C. Martin (guitar); Thomas Taylor (drums and percussion); Damon Brown (bass); Shaena Ryan (reeds and saxophone); and Keenan McKenzie (saxophones).

The group will return to the Monterey Jazz Festival this September.

Click here to learn more about NCCU’s music department.

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