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Join us for McNally Smith College of Music’s 6th Annual Winter Jazz Blast!

McNally Smith’s 6th Annual Winter Jazz Blast is a non–competitive festival that offers middle and high school jazz bands the opportunity to perform for their peers and receive a critique from professional adjudicators. Students also attend clinics and masterclasses, record in McNally Smith’s studio complex and enjoy an evening concert, and much more!


  • Saturday, January 20th, 2018
  • 8:00am–8:00pm


  • Gain valuable stage experience while performing in McNally Smith’s Auditorium and History Theatre
  • Learn new styles and develop new techniques through masterclasses and workshops
  • Receive one-on-one professional workshops and critiques from local jazz clinicians
  • Record in a state-of-the-art studio complex
  • Experience an exclusive concert from acclaimed jazz band, The Adam Meckler Orchestra


  • $250 per band
  • $175 per combo
  • $90 per big band for evening concert


Brookings Jazz II 2016

About The Adam Meckler Orchestra:

The Adam Meckler Orchestra is an 17 piece jazz ensemble that plays all original music composed and arranged by Adam Meckler. Adam is an Edwards Instrument Co. performing artist and clinician, and the band features some of the Twin Cities’ most exciting young musicians including Nelson Devereaux (Bon Iver), Cameron Kinghorn (Nooky Jones), Adrian Suarez (Jazz at Lincoln Center), and is widely recognized as one of the premier jazz ensembles in the area.

Adam Meckler Orchestra

The AMO has held residencies at Vieux Carré, The Artist’s Quarter, and Jazz Central and has appeared on the Main Stage of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in 2014 and 2016. AMO released their debut album “When The Clouds Look Like This” in September of 2014 to critical acclaim. In December of 2014 iTunes listed “When The Clouds Look Like This” among the year’s best releases in Jazz. The band will go back in to the studio to record a full length album in January of 2018. Among the new compositions will be a collaboration with Twin Cities Hip-Hop icon Toki Wright.

Tentative Schedule:

  • 8:00am–5:00pm: band performances, clinics, masterclasses, recording sessions and awards
  • 6:00–8:00pm: evening concert


McNally Smith College of Music
19 Exchange Street East, St Paul, MN 55101


  • While Winter Jazz Blast is a non-competitive festival, 2-3 outstanding ensembles will receive awards for outstanding performance.
  • Ensembles are invited to perform up to three pieces totaling 15 minutes.
  • Each ensemble receives a video recording of its performance.
  • Critiques are provided by professional adjudicators.
  • Ensembles receive a clinic session with professional adjudicators.
  • Combos are invited to sign up and perform on the combo stage. Combos will be critiqued and will receive a clinic from professional adjudicators following their performance.
  • Combos and soloists can sign up to record in McNally Smith’s studio complex. Combos must prepare a tune in advance; soloists can record solo or along with a track that they bring (SPACE LIMITED).
  • Students can attend instrumental masterclasses.
  • Outstanding soloists will be awarded scholarships to McNally Smith’s Summer Workshop, and will be invited to perform at the evening concert.
  • Boxed lunch available for $8/person (advance order required).
  • Pizza dinner available for $7/person (advance order required).
  • Purchase discount tickets in advance for the evening concert ($90 per band, or $5/student, $10/adult).
  • NOTE: After you register, McNally Smith will follow up with you to receive further information.