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Belmont College of Music and Performing Arts Celebrates 50 Years of Jazz at Belmont Feb. 24-25

Weekend celebration includes workshops and performances by students, faculty, alumni and leading jazz artist Chris Potter

Fifty years ago, Belmont’s Jazz Band I got its start. As Belmont’s reputation for excellence in music education has grown the past fifty years, the vibrant jazz community on campus has grown as well. Today, Belmont boasts multiple jazz ensembles, dedicated professional jazz faculty and a plethora of successful jazz musician alumni. 

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Jazz Band I, Belmont University’s College of Music and Performing Arts hosts “50 Years of Jazz” Feb. 24 – 25, featuring incredible performances from jazz alumni, students, faculty and leading jazz artist and saxophone legend Chris Potter. The weekend will also feature a masterclass with Potter on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10 a.m.

Members from every corner of the Belmont Jazz community will contribute to the weekend’s performances in the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts:

  • Returning jazz alumni perform Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. 
  • Local high school jazz students perform jazz standards and receive feedback from School of Music faculty adjudicators Saturday afternoon, Feb. 25. 
  • The highlight of the weekend will be “A Night of Jazz with Chris Potter,” playing alongside current student ensembles Jazz Band I, Jazzmin and Jazz Small Group I Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. 

Additionally, School of Music faculty will host an after-hours jazz experience at Rudy’s Jazz Room on Friday, Feb. 24, at 11 p.m. (This event is 21+).

All are invited to spend the weekend celebrating jazz on Belmont’s campus by enjoying music, reunions, campus tours and opportunities to connect with other jazz lovers. Tickets and ticket packages are available on the 50 Years of Jazz website.

About Chris Potter:

A world-class soloist, accomplished composer and formidable bandleader, Grammy Award nominated saxophonist Chris Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. Potter’s music showcases limitless creativity and a vibrant sense of swing, prompting critics, musicians and fans alike to cite him as the one of the finest saxophonists today. The New Yorker calls Potter, ‘A tenorist who can remind you of Joe Henderson at his craftiest, he employs his considerable technique in the service of music rather than spectacle.’ With his 2019 Edition Records release, Circuits, Potter makes a return to groove, echoing music from his Underground era. Joined by keyboardist James Francies and drummer Eric Harland, Potter’s new music thrives on the band’s chemistry, blending a vibrant soundscape of electronics, melodies with unforgettable hooks and surprising turns of phrase, all played with relentless energy. To learn more about Potter, visit his website,

About the College of Music and Performing Arts:

Located just steps from Music Row, Belmont University’s College of Music & Performing Arts is unmatched and is nationally recognized for distinctive programs that are committed to high standards of artistic scholarship and performance while championing innovation and stylistic diversity. Students in the School of Music and Department of Theatre and Dance develop their passions and create invaluable connections that lead to a lifelong profession. Our world-class instructors, wide variety of degrees, unique performance opportunities, strong sense of community, and resources place us among the best performing arts schools in the country. For more information, visit

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