The first Mid City Jazz Festival is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the Magnolia Theater on Baton Rouge Community College’s Mid-City campus.

Charles Brooks, head of BRCC’s audio engineering department, is hosting the event as part of the school’s 10th annual Arts Festival.

The festival will include high school and middle school jazz ensembles from across the state. These groups will be given the opportunity to perform in front of professional jazz musicians and educators in a friendly yet competitive environment.

Judges are New Orleans jazz trumpeter Leroy Jones; Michael Foster, of The Michael Foster Project; and Willis Delony, Virginia Martin Howard Professor of Piano and professor of jazz studies at LSU.

Judges will score bands throughout the day, as well as provide ensembles with both written and recorded feedback. Awards will be presented at 7 p.m. for Best Band and Best Soloist and will be followed by a judges’ concert in collaboration with Brooks, a professional jazz percussionist. This concert will be free and open to the public.

Festival registration also is free and requires the following: school name and city, band director’s name, type of ensemble (high school, middle school, big band, combo or other), and a list of three prepared songs. This information should be emailed to Brooks at by 5 p.m. March 20.

For more information, visit