NMSU’s 54th annual Jazz Jumpstart festival, concert are Nov. 10


The 54th annual Jazz Jumpstart and Jazz Ensembles Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in Atkinson Recital Hall, New Mexico State University Music Building, 1075 N. Horseshoe St. on campus.

There is no charge to attend.

“The festival is set to break the mold this year with a fresh and distinctive approach to celebrate the beginning of jazz season in schools,” said festival director Jacob Dalager, who is an assistant professor trumpet at NMSU. “The focus this year will be on immersive clinics and workshops, creating an environment where students can learn, be inspired and experience the artistry of world-renowned musicians.”

Schools and individuals can register for the workshop at jazz.nmsu.edu. Click on “Jazz Jumpstart 2023” in the gray box near the top of the page, then click on “Registration Form.”

“This year's festival is proud to host two exceptional guest artists hailing from the heart of the jazz scene in New York City,” Dalager said. “Steve Cardenas, an acclaimed guitarist with an illustrious career performing alongside legends such as Paul Motian, Charlie Haden and John Patitucci, will grace the festival. Cardenas, co-author of ‘Thelonious Monk Fake Book,’ is celebrated for his records, notably the captivating ‘Blue Has a Range.’

“Joining him (at Jazz Jumpstart) is the remarkable Ben Allison, a distinguished bass player and jazz composer whose discography spans over 100 albums, including 19 of his own,” Dalager said. “Allison's standout work, ‘Buzz,’ showcases his brilliance and innovation in jazz composition.”

Cardenas and Allison are both esteemed professors at the New School, a private research university in New York City, “adding an educational dimension to the festival,” Dalager said.

The festival concert will feature both their original compositions.

“What sets this year apart is the dynamic synergy between Steve Cardenas and Ben Allison,” he said. “As a collaborative team for decades, their musical journey has produced an extensive discography, with each artist featuring prominently on the other's recordings. Their intimate knowledge of each other's playing and distinctive styles promises a truly special experience for festival attendees.

"We wanted to create an atmosphere that fosters learning and appreciation for jazz without the pressure to perform," Dalager said. "Having Steve Cardenas and Ben Allison, who not only excel in their individual artistry but also have a profound musical connection, is a rare treat for the audience."

For more information, visit jazz.nmsu.edu, facebook.com/NMStateJazz and instagram.com/NMStateJazz.