Jazz Day

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jazz Day is a unique opportunity for high school jazz bands and their directors to perform for each other and NIU School of Music faculty members. Each band performs a 20-minute concert in the Music Building concert hall or recital hall, followed by a 20-minute clinic session conducted by NIU faculty. Students also participate in individual instrumental clinics led by NIU faculty and a guest clinician. Outstanding soloists will receive scholarships to our Jazz Combo Day!

View Jazz Day schedule (XLSX)


  • Cost: $250 per school (due two weeks before event)
  • Registration deadline: Dec. 8, 2023
    • This clinic is limited to 16 schools

Online Registration

Be sure to register by the deadline. A registration fee is charged for each ensemble and is due two weeks before the event date.


If you cancel five or more business days before the event, you may request a refund from Kristin Sherman at ksherman2@niu.edu or 815-753-1450. No refunds will be made after this time unless NIU cancels the event.


Students work with several NIU faculty members, including:

Guest Clinician


Christopher McBride

Christopher McBride is a saxophonist based in Harlem whose work includes education, arranging and composition in addition to performance. He has been slowly but steadily turning heads with his ubiquitous work as an invaluable sideman since the mid-aughts. Now Christopher is gaining respect amongst fans, critics, and his peers as one of the most versatile saxophonists in the world. His 2012 debut album Quatuor de Force certainly establishes his ability to front a group and write his own soulful, melodically indelible tunes. Applauded for his ability to play in all musical situations, McBride has the ability to unleash a fiery attack and serrated tone, but on his recent album he explores a more measured, mellow sound heavily influenced by contemporary R&B—with a strong shot of Cannonball Adderley’s post-bop sensuality—but his improvising is very rigorous and cogent. As a composer, McBride was recently selected as the 2022 Make Jazz Fellowship artist at The 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.

Born in Chicago, and starting his professional career there in 2007, Christopher made the move to NYC in 2013. His group The Whole Proof has played venues all over New York, and Christopher ran his  ‘Singer Meets Saxophonist’ series at the famed Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem from 2017-2019. The musicians he has performed for spans many genres with artists such as Billy Preston, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Broom, Percy Gray, Roy Hargrove, Pete Rock, Big Daddy Kane, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Guy Sebastian, Solange, Ne-Yo, Jennifer Hudson, Alice Smith, Brandon Flowers, Lea DeLaria, 88 Keys, Milton Mustafa, Winard Harper and the Marquis Hill Blacktet.

Christopher also serves as the director of education for the Second Line Arts Collective, a non-for-profit organization based out of New Orleans. His primary duties include writing curriculum for the Little Stompers division and teacher development. He has also worked as a journalist and consultant with Forbes Ignite, the innovation coalition of Forbes.

He was a featured soloist as well as a contributor on the GRAMMY-winning album by Steven Feifke and Bijon Watson’s “Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra” released in 2022.

Contact Us

College of Visual and Performing Arts
Office of External Programs

Music Building 132

Kristin Sherman

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Online Office Hours

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(lunch from noon – 1 p.m.)

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