Cincinnati Public Schools International Jazz Festival Returns May 6, 2023 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts

Jazz-loving Cincinnatians are invited to the 3rd International Jazz Festival, hosted by Activities Beyond the Classroom (ABC).

The festival will feature over 100 student musicians from the Cincinnati Public Schools Jazz Academy performing with internationally famous jazz saxophonist Joan Chamorro from Barcelona Spain. Joan will be accompanied by his own student ensemble, the Sant Andreu band.

For the first time, the festival will feature artwork from CPS students as well as students from China, Japan, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe, thanks to the contribution of the Cincinnati Sister Cities! The art pieces were created around the prompt of friendship, and they can be viewed in the lobby of the Aronoff throughout the evening.

Date: Saturday, May 6th

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: The Aronoff Center for the Arts (650 Walnut Street)

Cost: FREE (tickets not required)

Special performances by:

  • CPS Elementary Jazz Academy Orchestras
  • CPS Junior High School Jazz Academy Combo
  • CPS High School Jazz Academy Orchestra
  • The Sant Andreu Jazz Ensemble

Daytime Masterclass Schedule:

CPS Jazz Academy Performs in Barcelona, September 2022

From September 1-8, 2022, Activities Beyond the Classroom (ABC) partnered with the Kennedy Heights Arts Center and Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) to take eleven students in the CPS Jazz Academy to Barcelona, Spain. In addition to several parent chaperones, the CPS Middle School Jazz Combo were accompanied on their trip by Dr. Isidore Rudnick, the Fine Arts Curiculum Manager and Director of the CPS Jazz Academy, as well as ABC’s Executive Director, Sally Grimes.

The students performed at the Jazzing Festival de Sant Andreu on Sunday, September 4th to a packed audience of jazz enthusiasts. The students also attended intimate workshops led by professional musicians throughout the weekend, gaining valuable insight to their craft. Throughout the weekend, the CPS students had the opportunity to socialize and perform with student musicians from Barcelona and the Canary Islands, forming new friendships that cross international boundaries.

ABC and Cincinnati Public Schools are excited to welcome these students from Barcelona and Joan Chamorro to Cincinnati for the CPS International Jazz Festival in May of 2023! Joan and his students showed tremendous hospitality and kindness to the CPS students throughout their visit to Barcelona, and we look forward to returning the favor!

Previous Jazz Festivals

Innagural Jazz Festival: October 2019

On October 5, 2019, over 250 students who live in the Cincinnati area gathered at the Aronoff Center to participate in the first ever CPS International Jazz Festival. 

During this all day event, the student-musicians performed for professional jazz musicians, and were able to get constructive feedback from the professionals to help them master their craft. In addition, the students were able to sit in more intimate master-classes, where the accomplished jazz musicians gave lessons, and shared their experiences in the world of jazz.

The evening featured performances from an ensemble of professional musicians as well as larger student groups.  The ensemble included the award-winning Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana, Todor Bakardzhiev (Bulgaria), pianist Shamie Royston (New York City), bassist Chris Berg (Dayton, Ohio), and drummer Art Gore (Cincinnati).  The student groups featured included the Pipkov National Music School Jazz Ensemble (Bulgaria), the Greater Cincinnati Youth Jazz Collaborative, and the CPS Elementary Jazz Academy Orchestra.   

Returning From The COVID Pandemic: Jazz Festival 2022

The International Jazz Festival returned May 7, 2022. Internationally famous jazz saxophonist Joan Chamorro from Barcelona Spain joined 107 students and 11 professional jazz musicians from the Cincinnati region for a full day of workshops, masterclasses, and performance opportunities. This was capped off by an evening performance on the main stage at the Aronoff Center. 

Because cost of tickets was a barrier to access for families at the previous Jazz Festival, ABC waived ticket fees and allowed all members of the public free access to the show. By the time the instruments started playing, 1200 seats were full in the Aronoff Center (about double the attendance from the first Jazz Festival). We received reports that indicated the second Jazz Festival increased impact on the Cincinnati community by 153%.